m. 24 May 1785
m. 5 Dec 1819
Facts and Events
Hannah Filby was born on 17th February 1799 at Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire, daughter of Ann Filby, formerly Lawrence, and her husband Joseph Filby, a labourer. Hannah appears to have been the youngest of five daughters.
In 1819, when Hannah was twenty years old, she married a man named Daniel Nicholls. He had previously served in the West Middlesex Militia during the Napoleonic Wars, but on returning to civilian life had become a labourer. He had also previously had an illegitimate child with Hannah's sister Eleanor in 1817, although the child appears to have died as a baby.
Hannah and Daniel had a son named William in 1820. At the time of his baptism they were living at Ribbon Hall, which stood on the Lower Luton Road just west of the hamlet of Folly. (Ribbon Hall was rebuilt c.1840 to become Lea House.) William sadly died when he was only nineteen months old in 1822.
The following year they had a daughter, Mary. Her baptism also records that they lived at Ribbon Hall.
In the late 1820s both Hannah's parents died: her father in February 1826 and then her mother sixteen months later in June 1827. Both were buried at Wheathampstead.
In 1830 Hannah's husband Daniel also died, aged 48. Hannah was left with their six year old daughter Mary to look after, and also appears to have been pregnant at the time of his death. Just over a year after Daniel's death Hannah baptised a son, Daniel William Nicholls, named after both her late husband and her deceased son. Presumably he was a few months old at the time of his baptism. As an adult Daniel William consistently claimed to have been born in Wheathampstead, but he was baptised in the nearby town of Luton, and his baptism record says they were living in Luton at that time. Perhaps Hannah had gone to stay with her sister Eleanor after Daniel's death; Eleanor had married a shoe maker and settled in Luton.
Hannah later returned to Wheathampstead with her two children, Mary and Daniel William. By 1837 she was living at Gustard Wood, a hamlet in the north of Wheathampstead parish. Whilst living there her daughter Mary sadly died, aged fourteen.
Hannah moved on again, this time heading to the other local market town of St Albans. Here she lived at Snatchup's End, at the northern end of the town beside the Cricketers public house. Whilst living there, on her 40th birthday, she married a widower named John Maddox. They married at St Peter's Church in St Albans.
They did not stay long in St Albans after their marriage. They moved north to Harpenden, where they had a daughter, Ann, in 1840. The 1841 census finds Hannah living at Cold Harbour in Harpenden with her husband John, two of his children from his first marriage and Hannah's two surviving children, Ann Maddox and Daniel William Nicholls. Hannah and John were still in that area ten years later, with her son Daniel still living with them, whilst her daughter Ann had gone to live with some of John's relatives at Sundon in Bedfordshire. The 1851 census describes Hannah as a straw plaiter.
By 1854 Hannah and John had moved to The Folly in Wheathampstead. For Hannah this was a return to the area where she had lived with her first husband Daniel Nicholls forty years earlier. In 1854 Hannah's son Daniel and her husband John were involved in a fight at The Folly public house. John apparently insulted a man named John Handley, who attacked John. In return, Daniel attacked John Handley. Daniel was sentenced to six months in jail for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
After his release Daniel set up home with a Susan Warner, who had actually been one of their neighbours in Cold Harbour in the 1841 census. Their first child was born in 1857, and thus Hannah became a grandmother at the age of 58.
The 1861 census finds Hannah and John still living at The Folly in Wheathampstead. Hannah died in 1866, aged 67, being buried at Wheathampstead on 30th December 1866.