yeovil people

The Hann Family

Yeovil Fishmongers & Hairdressers


James Kerslake Hann

James Kerslake Hann was born in 1798 at Stoke Abbott, southwest of Beaminster, Dorset, third of the seven children of John Hann (1755-1833) and Anne née Kerslake (1761-1824).

James married Sarah Paul (1795-1876) of Crewkerne and after their marriage they moved to Beaminster where they were to have four children; Cornelius, also known as William or William Cornelius (1820-1893), James (1824-1900), Alfred (1832-1868) and Sarah Matilda (1837-1896).

After the birth of Matilda the family moved to Yeovil, where they lived in the beerhouse run by Cornelius in Bond Street. In the 1841 census Cornelius was listed as the head of the household (it was his business and no doubt he filled in the form) and living with him were his parents and siblings. James gave his occupation as a gardener, while Cornelius was listed as a beer seller and 15-year old James Jnr was listed as a tailor.

By the time of the 1851 census James and Sarah were living in Kingston with Alfred, Sarah Matilda and 2-year old granddaughter Caroline Louisa (not sure who her parents were, but she had the surname Hann). James, now aged 53, gave his occupation as 'Post Boy' and Sarah gave hers as a stay maker while Alfred was listed as a painter and Sarah Matilda as a glover.

In the summer of 1854 Alfred married Louisa Cook at Yeovil and they initially set up home with James and Sarah in Kingston. In the 1861 census they were listed as two separate families in the same house; James and Sarah with daughter Sarah, Alfred and Louisa with 3-year old daughter Minnie. James gave his occupation as 'Post Boy at Hotel', Sarah and daughter Sarah both gave theirs as dressmaker and Alfred was still a painter.

James Hann died in August 1833, aged 68, and was buried in St John's churchyard.


The record of James Hann's burial in St John's burial register.


Cornelius Hann, aka William Hann and William Cornelius Hann - fishmonger & hairdresser

Cornelius Hann was born in late 1818 or early 1819 and baptised at St Mary's church, Beaminster, on 16 January 1819. He was the eldest son of gardener James Hann and his wife, Sarah née Paul. The 1841 census lists his birth as in Somerset although he was born in Beaminster, Dorset. In the 1841 census he is listed as a beer seller in Bond Street. It would appear that, although baptised and appearing in some records as Cornelius, he spent much of his life known as William - but here I'll continue to call him Cornelius

On 25 March 1843, at St John's church, Cornelius married Elizabeth Miles (1818-1882), daughter of William and Sarah Miles, originally from Sherborne, Dorset. Cornelius and Elizabeth were to have nine children; William James (1844-1929), George Frederick (1845-1928), Thomas Herbert (b1847), John Henry (1849-1898), Elizabeth Alice (1854-1920), Helena Maud (1857-1947), Kate Miles (1862-1938) and Charles Albert (1865-1945).

In the 1851 census Cornelius, listed as William, was living with Elizabeth and their four eldest children in Hendford, immediately next door to the Three Choughs Hotel. 31-year old Cornelius gave his occupation as 'Hairdresser employing one Man'.

He was recorded as a music seller in 1859 and as a wine seller in 1862.

They were still at Hendford in 1861 with seven of their children at which time Cornelius (again named as William) listed himself as a hairdresser and 17-year old William James was listed as a hairdresser's apprentice.

He was listed in a range of Yeovil trade directories as 'William Hann' from the 1850s to the 1870s; in Hunt & Co's Directory of 1850 he was listed as a 'Hairdresser of the Borough', there were two entries in Slater's Directory of 1852, as a 'Hairdresser of Hendford' and a 'Fishmonger of Hendford'. The Post Office Directory editions of both 1866 and 1875 listed him as a 'Hairdresser of Hendford'. There were three entries in Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser of 1882 - all for William Cornelius Hann - as a 'Fishmonger & Hair Cutter', a 'Fishmonger and Hairdresser' and a 'Hairdresser and Fishmonger' - all of 4 Hendford.

In 1874 Cornelius and Elizabeth were involved in a court case against members of Elizabeth's family - Robert Miles, Samuel Miles, Ann Miles (spinster) and Felix and Mary Curtis - regarding the estate of Ellen Morgan (widow) late of 148 Kings Road.

Also in 1874, he was rebuilding his property next to the Three Chough's Hotel and had to give up a strip of land that he valued at £30. As the land had not yet been acquired by the Town Council it was decided that to consider compensation would be premature.

As reported in the 17 April 1874 edition of the Western Gazette, during March 1877 he had six rabbits and a pheasant (value 10/-) stolen from his shop for which Thomas Leach (12) and James Hann (15) were sentenced to 12 strokes of the rod for stealing and William Eliis (23) three months imprisonment for receiving stolen goods.

Elizabeth died in Yeovil in 1882 and Cornelius / William died in Yeovil on 20 March 1893 leaving effects to the value of £328 2s 10d (around £140,000 at today's value). While his son carried on the trade of hairdresser, three of his sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandson were to be involved in the fishmonger's trade.



George Frederick Miles Hann - bankrupt fish salesman makes good

George Frederick Miles Hann was the second son of Cornelius and Elizabeth, born in Yeovil on 10 August 1846. At the age of 19 he married Elizabeth Sarah Harriett Eley (1845-1874) at Wandsworth, London. They had two sons and two daughters but Elizabeth died in 1874. He married Rosa Madge (1857-1929), daughter of James Marsh Madge and Elizabeth Gould, in March 1878 at the Independent Chapel, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. By 1881, George and Rosa lived at 22 Atlantic Road, Brixton, London.  George and Rosa had a son and a daughter.

He was known at the time of his first marriage by the surname of Hanne, a surname that he, his brother (Thomas Herbert) and sister (Henrietta Bernice) appear to have 'adopted' and used from then on. It is not known why it was adopted but may have been a Victorian affectation - George later called his house in Sanderstead 'Yeoville'.

George appears to have taken on a fishmonger's business in Middle Street from advertisements that were placed in the Western Gazette announcing the retirement of a Mrs Curtis. However in July 1868 George was required, as a fishmonger of Yeovil, to surrender to the Bankruptcy Court and in September 1868 was declared bankrupt. Nevertheless by 1874 he was once again trading as a fish and game dealer of Middle Street.


One of George's advertisement from 1875.


In 1881 George was living in Lambeth, London, where he worked as a fish salesman, becoming a fish merchant by 1901.

Despite his earlier financial troubles, George began to build an ever-expanding fishmonger 'empire'. Between 1895 and 1910, he lived at 'Yeoville', 17 Carson Road, West Dulwich, London. He qualified to vote as the freeholder and later business premises owner between 1895 and 1921 at 45 Electric Avenue, Brixton, London. His company was Curtis and Hanne Ltd (Fishmongers) Ltd of 286 Brixton Road, London, - with branches at 14 Denmark Hill, 58 Church Street, Camberwell, 97 Brixton Hill, 14 The Broadway, West Norwood and 355 & 389 Norwood Road, West Norwood.

George died in Croydon, Surrey, in 1928.



John Henry Hann - hairdresser, fishmonger & poulterer

John Henry Hann was born in Yeovil on 15 March 1850 and baptised at St John's church on 17 April 1850. He was the fourth son of Cornelius and Elizabeth.

On 8 March 1866 he was summonsed at the Borough Petty Sessions in Yeovil for trespass - having taken a donkey and cart into Ram Park to get ice from the pond. As an example to others he was fined 1s with 6s 6d costs. On 3 April 1867 he was appointed as one of the agents for the sale of tickets for the Yeovil Reform Association's Tea Meeting in the Corn Exchange on 22 April.

 In the 1871 census 21-year old John was listed living with his parents and siblings in Hendford, giving his occupation as an assistant hairdresser.

On 5 May 1873, at Chilthorne Domer, John married Elizabeth Culleford (1874-1933) giving his profession as a fishmonger. They lived initially in South Petherton where their children were born. They were to have four children; Everard John (1877-1902), Beatrice Maud (1879-1924), Reginald Arthur (1885-1956) and Florence (b1886). In the 1881 census John and Elizabeth, together with Everard and Beatrice, were living in St James Street, South Petherton. John gave his occupation as a hairdresser and Elizabeth was a straw bonnet maker.

After the birth of Florence the family moved back to Yeovil and in the 1891 census they were living at 101 Middle Street and John gave his occupation as a fishmonger.

However, it appears that while John was a fishmonger & poulterer, it was his wife Elizabeth née  Culleford who was really the 'Fish & Game Dealer', advertising as 'E Hann, Fish & Game Dealer of Regent House' in all editions of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser throughout the 1880s.


Whiby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser 1882


It appears that officially the business was in John's name and appears regularly in trade directories as 'JH Hann, Fish & Game Dealer or Fishmonger & Poulterer of 101 Middle Street' until 1915.

In 1891 he took Colonel John Mountbatten of Coker Court to the County Court for payment of an outstanding debt of just over £2 that he alleged was owing on the defendant's account. According to a report in the Western Gazette, the defendant stated that he had paid the money and it was found that the relevant pages had been removed from John's account books. The judge, commenting on the irregular way the books were kept, found for the defendant to whom he awarded costs.


Whiby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser 1892


John died on 26 June 1898 at 101 Middle Street, at age 48; following his Sunday lunch, he returned to the shop but was taken ill and managed to reach the sitting room to sit down, dying of a 'ruptured heart artery' before medical help could arrive. He was buried on 30 June 1898 at Yeovil Cemetery. His estate was probated on 15 August 1898 and granted to Elizabeth, his widow. His estate was valued at £898 18s 10d (around £600,000 at today's value).

Although John died in 1898 the fishmonger's business was carried on in his name by Elizabeth, who was also listed in Whitby's edition of 1903 as 'Mrs E Hann, Fishmonger of 101 Middle Street.

In the 1901 census Elizabeth, a 46-year old widow, was listed as a Fish Dealer and was living above the Middle Street shop premises with Everard, Florence and Reginald. Elizabeth was still listed as a fishmonger in the 1911 census with Reginald working as a fishmonger's assistant. Also living with them were Beatrice and her husband Ernest Babb.

Elizabeth died in Yeovil in the summer of 1933, aged 67.



Charles Albert Hann - fishmonger and confectioner

Charles Albert Hann was born on 28 February 1865 at Yeovil, the youngest child of Cornelius and Elizabeth Hann. He was baptised on 29 March 1865 at St John's church. He married Rosa Martha Foot in March 1886 at Yeovil. In the 1891 census Charles was living in Vincent Street and gave his occupation as a dairyman. By 1901 he was a fishmonger and lived at 286 Brixton Road, Stockwell, London. Between 1913 and 1924, Charles lived at 67 Horsford Road, Brixton, London. He was a confectioner between 1924 and 1929 at 55 Brockley Rise, Forest Hill, London. He died on 9 November 1945 at Poole, Dorset, aged 80.



Reginald Arthur Hann - fishmonger

Reginald Arthur Hann was born in September 1884 at South Petherton, Somerset. He was the second son of John and Elizabeth Hann. He married Winifred Ethel Holwill in June 1911 at Yeovil. Reginald took over the fish and poultry business started by his parents and run mostly by his mother. However he was declared bankrupt at Yeovil Court on 28 June 1916.

He began military service on 11 December 1916 as Guardsman, 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Grenadier Guards. His Service Number was 28592. He ended military service on 1 April 1919, discharged due to burns caused by mustard gas and awarded the Silver War Badge. He died in June 1956 at Yeovil, aged 71.



See the Hann Family Tree - click here