To get back to the family profiles, I will now take William’s wife, Hannah, and her immediate family.
Hannah Barlow was born on 16th September 1839 in Fenton, Staffordshire. She was baptised on 6th October 1839 in Fenton, possibly in the parish church of Christchurch as it was erected in 1839 according to Genuki. She was one of 10 children, the third youngest born to Thomas Barlow (1802-1846) and Matilda Challinor (1806-1884). Thomas and Matilda were married on 31 October 1824 at St John’s, Hanley – according to the censuses Matilda was born in Shelton though we haven’t been able to find a baptism for her or know who her parents were. However, there are a family of Challinors living in Tinkers Clough, Shelton in 1851 and 1861, which is where William Hopkins was living in the census before he married Hannah, so I have made a note of them, especially as one was Josiah and another James, the same as two of Hannah’s brothers. We are not sure who the parents of Thomas are either as there are a few possible candidates and as he most inconsiderately died before the 1851 census we don’t know his place of birth.
In 1839 when Matilda was born, they were living in the Lower Lane area of Fenton. Thomas Barlow was noted as being a ‘turner in pots’ in the 1841 census – they were living in High Street, Fenton (part of which was in the Lower Lane area). He and Matilda were both noted as being 35. Hannah’s eldest brother, Joseph, was born and baptised in Hanley but after that they must have moved to Fenton. She had 4 brothers, all J’s – Joseph, Jabez, James and Josiah/Jesse (he appears as both on the censuses) and sisters Mary (x2), Martha Ellen, Myra and Harriet Elizabeth. Her father, Thomas, died in 1846; he left £100 to his wife, but if she married again or died, the money was to be shared like and like between the children. Matilda outlived him by 38 years, but did not marry again. They must have been fairly prosperous as £100 was a lot of money back then, but by the 1851 census Matilda and Hannah were shown as being laundresses so they obviously had to take washing in to make ends meet. They lived next door to Hannah’s brother Joseph and both households had boarders called Challinor – I have traced them in the censuses to Broseley in Shropshire but so far can’t find any definite family link to Matilda and the censuses didn’t say that they were related, although I have found cases in the past of extended family members being classified as boarders.
In the 1861, 1871 and 1881 censuses Matilda was living with her daughter Harriet and her husband, Thomas Jones, a blacksmith, and their family, at first in Market Street, Fenton then in Queen Street, Fenton (now Burnham Street). Thomas was a Welshman from Carmarthen. Queen Street is just off Market Street, so she wasn’t living far away from Hannah, who had the shop in Market Street by 1871.
Anyway, back to Hannah. As I already said, she was married to William Hopkins on 28 December 1857 in St Mark’s, Shelton. She must have been quite a woman, because she had 12 children in 23 years and ran a successful greengrocery business on top of that, setting up many of her children in shops of their own. I get exhausted just thinking of it! She seems to have outlived all her siblings. Her husband, William, died in 1891 and left her everything, provided she did not remarry. In the 1901 census she was still in 58 Market Street, Fenton aged 62, widow, fruit merchant, employer; 3 of her daughters worked in the shop with her. By 1911 she was still in Market Street, aged 70, fruiterer and her granddaughter Mabel Willding was living with her. She filled in the census form herself. The house and shop had 7 rooms.
By the time she signed her will in February 1918 she was living at 223 Frank Street, London Road, Stoke where she had another shop, with her daughter Mary Matilda Parsons. She died on 14 January 1923 at the above address, aged 83, of senility and asthemia. She left over £2,500.