Hannah Dodd (c.1820-1852) née Hirst

This page is part of the Holmfirth Flood Project which aims to make content available to researchers in advance of the 175th anniversary of the 1852 Flood which will be commemorated in 2027.

Hannah Dodd was a victim of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.


Hannah Hirst's background remains uncertain, as her father's name and occupation was not recorded on the marriage certificate. She gave her age as 23 when married (born circa 1819), whilst the 1851 Census records her birth place as Hepworth and records her age as 30 (born circa 1821).[1]

If she was from Hepworth, she would likely have been baptised at All Hallows, Kirkburton. If so, she may have been:

  • Hannah Hirst born 11 February 1819, daughter of farmer William and Mary Hirst of Stocksmoor, who was bapsited on 11 April 1819
  • Hannah Hirst born 3 July 1819, daughter of clothier George and Hannah Hirst of Kirkburton

She married Joseph Dodd on 3 July 1842 at All Hallows, Almondbury.[2] They had two known children:

At the time of the 1851 Census, the family was residing on Water Street, Hinchliffe Mill. Their immediate neighbours were Mary Marsden and Jonathan Crosland.


Hannah Dodd and her family were killed in the early hours of 5 February when the Bilberry Reservoir burst its embankment.

Her body was recovered by Thomas Haigh "laid on some wreck" at "the edge of the small dam at the Upper Mill" and taken to the George Inn, Upper Bridge, where it was identified by John Shaw.

Together with her daughters, she was buried on Sunday 8 February at Hinchliffe Mill Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

The body of her husband Joseph was eventually recovered from the river at Horbury Bridge on 28 February.

Notes and References

  1. This slight ambiguity about Hannah’s actual age may explain why it was not recorded on her burial record. Newspaper reports of the flood tended to give her age as 30.
  2. Both Joseph and Hannah gave their residence as Lockwood when they married, although there is seemingly no evidence that either of them were living there at the time.
  3. Born 23 November 1844 and baptised 25 December 1844 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.
  4. Born 28 August 1850 and baptised 6 October 1850 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.