- m1 John Hartman (? – ?)
- Frank Hartman (? – ?)
- Loretta Hartman (1883 – 1938)
- m2 Michael Lydon (1860-1886)
- Katherine Agnes Lydon (1886-1957)
- m3 George Cannon (1853-1918)
- m4 Charles Sillick/Sellick (1851 – ?)
First Marriage: John (?) Hartman
When my mother first began researching her genealogy in the late 1990s, she found a pieces of a marriage certificate for her great-great grandmother, Mary. These pieces listed her name as Mary Hartman. Based on that information, Mom thought that was Mary’s maiden name, but was never able to find more. We knew that she’d married someone named Michael Lydon due to Social Security Applications of their granddaughter. There were also pictures that talked about Great-Grandmother’s Brother Hartman in my grandmother’s handwriting. Mom decided to focus on a different branch, then genealogy faded from interest.
A decade later, I began researching records and traveling to different state archives and we started to piece together evidence for Mary’s life. I knew that she’d been married before Michael Lydon, but I could only guess at the facts.
When Mary’s daughter, Katherine Agnes, married William Crompton in 1906, she lists her name as Agnes Hartman, her father as John Hartman. Kate uses that name in the 1900 census as well. I don’t know why Kate would have used the Hartman last name as her birth record lists Michael as her father, but she also never knew her father and the marriage was short.
In the 1900 census, Mary is listed as being the mother of four children, three of whom were living. For a long time, the only child I’ve ever found evidence for is Kate. I have photos of a man my grandmother called Frank Hartman who is likely one of Mary’s children.
In 2021, I found a newspaper article talking about Mary getting married again and in this notice, it lists a daughter that I had never seen referred to before — Lottie Prettyman. When I searched for more information, about Lottie, I learned that she’d been born Loretta Hartman. When Lottie Hartman passed away, it gave information about a brother, Frank Hartman, living in Camden.
None of this gives me any information about John Hartman, and the only reason I’ve guessed at his name being John is due to the name listed on Kate’s marriage license.
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 which gives me the date. I never located the license.
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 newly pregnant.
Third Marriage: George Cannon
George is the third of Mary’s husbands. 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.
He died on 17 Dec 1918 in Gloucester City, New Jersey which is where my family still lives. I can’t read the name of the hospital, but he appeared to have been there for fourteen days prior to his death. He is buried in Union Cemetery, a small cemetery in my town. 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.
Fourth Marriage: Charles Sillick
According to this article on March 1, 1928 in the Courier Post, Mary Cannon, aged 66, married Charles Sillick, a recent widower. In this same article, it says that Mary has been living with her daughter, Lottie Prettyman, on Mercer Street.
I have not yet been able to locate more information about Charles Sillick, but I’m excited to have this final piece of Mary’s puzzle.