Mary was married at least three times. I have several reason to know that.
- She was married to George Cannon in 1889. My grandmother kept a picture of him, in which she called him Mary’s third husband.
- There is evidence of a son, Frank Hartman, born before Mary’s daughter Kate, who is my direct ancestor.
- Mary’s maiden name is Mahoney, but her marriage to Kate’s father, Michael Lydon (Lidon/Leydon) lists her name as Mary Hartman.
First Marriage: John (?) Hartman
Of Mary’s first marriage, I know nothing. I have been unable to find any evidence of it online. Literally the only information I have that it existed is Mary using the last name Hartman, and some evidence she had at least one child, if not more by him. Does that mean they were legally married?
In Kate’s marriage to William Crompton in 1906, she lists her name as Agnes Hartman, her father as John Hartman. I have photos of a man my grandmother called Frank Hartman. Unfortunately, that’s all I have to go on at this point. I’ve tried some random combinations in Ancestry to find a link, but I’m out of ideas for the moment.
I made a hesitant attempt about a decade ago to find a marriage in the Philadelphia city archives, but didn’t try so hard. That’s probably my next thing to do.
Second Marriage: Michael Lydon
I have little information for Michael himself beyond his death notice. His name and origins are very common – born in Ireland around 1857 — so finding him in the 1880 census has been very difficult and no information about his life has been passed down.
I have a bit more evidence of Michael and Mary’s life together. Surprisingly, pieces of their marriage certificate have survived:
This document gives me a few pieces of information. Michael’s surname is not fully listed, though you can see the Michael L and a piece of the y in his name. As mentioned before. Mary’s last name is Hartman, which matches family stories.
I know they married at some point in 1884 from this document. They married at a place I can’t quite fully name: St. Paul’s M.E.
After some Google research, it might be St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church. This church existed on Catherine St. at some point, which isn’t too far from the neighborhood where Mary and Michael lived.
This document also gives me their witnesses: William and Kate Chapman. I thought Kate Chapman might be Mary’s sister, Catherine, but I can’t seem to find any proof of that.
At some point, I went to Philadelphia and found their marriage date of September 7, 1884 in an index, but I don’t have further. I should go and get more information, I’m sure there’s some more there.
As for other records concerning Michael, I found a document in the Family Search Philadelphia Death Certificates Database for a Michael Leydon, dying March 6, 1886 of heart failure. It gives his address as 140 N. 11th Street, the same address his widow, Mary Lydon, is living in 1887 in a Philadelphia City Directory.
This means it’s possible Michael died before he knew Mary was pregnant with Kate. Kate is born in November, so Mary would have been only just freshly pregnant.
Third Marriage: George Cannon
George is the last of May’s known husbands and the one for which I have the most evidence for. He was born around 1853 in Pennsylvania. I am not positive what his parents were named. His marriage certificate names them as John and Eliza Cannon, while his death certificate names John Cannon and Mary Hartley.
I find his death certificate fascinating. He died on 17 Dec 1918 in Gloucester City, New Jersey
which is where my family still lives. He is buried in Union Cemetery, a small cemetery around the corner. He’s the only father that Mary’s daughter Kate ever knew (they married when she was roughly three years old). And yet, on the death certificate, he’s nearly marked as widowed and his date of birth is listed as unknown. The informant is John Watson, not his wife of almost twenty years.
I have a photo of George which gives me my best evidence that Mary was either married before Michael Lyden or lived with a man whom she claimed as a husband. My grandmother’s handwriting lists him as the third husband.