John HOBEN born cir. 1836 Ireland
Possible son of Jane HARRIS
Married: possibly Ireland
Jane Harris (1835-1892)
born Ireland - Died Birmingham UK
Children of John HOBEN & Jane HARRIS:
Richard HOBEN b.1865 Birmingham
Edward (Edwin/Ted) HOBAN (1867-1940)
Ann (Annie) HOBAN (1869-1952)
Thomas Henry HOBAN b.1871 Birmingham
Samuel Mark HARRIS b. c.1857 Ireland. died 1890 Aston, Birmingham
Daughter of Jane HARRIS
Mary Elizabeth HARRIS b. 1880 Aston, Birmingham
John HOBEN & wife, Jane HARRIS, appear to have arrived in England sometime before 1865. They first appear in the 1871
UK Census living in Birmingham with three of their children. John's occupation is given as bricklayer and bricklayer's
labourer on his four children's birth certificates.
By the 1881 census, however, John HOBEN is absent and his wife Jane and their children are living with Henry BATES
who gives his occupation as a brass worker. Jane HOBEN and Henry BATES appear together again in the 1891 UK Census for
Birmingham with Jane's daughter Mary Elizabeth HARRIS then aged 10 and Jane's visiting son, Thomas Henry HOBAN.
Mary Elizabeth HARRIS' birth certificate states that her father was Samuel HARRIS and mother, Jane HARRIS nee HOBERN.
As we know that Jane
did not in fact remarry, it seems much more likely that Jane has employed son/brother Samuel Mark HARRIS' name to give her daughter
a father's name. Mary's real father seems much more likely to be the Henry BATES with whom the family was living at the time of Elizabeth's
birth and the 1881 and 1891 census. The fact that Jane HOBEN and
Henry BATES never married seems to indicate that either one or both still had a living spouse.
Another puzzle still to be conclusively solved is whether Samuel Mark (Martin) HARRIS/HOBORN is a son of Jane HARRIS or a brother. In the 1871
census he is said to be a brother and in the 1881 census a son. At present the thought is that he is Jane's illegitimate son, born in Ireland
but passed off as a brother in England to avoid scandel. In his marriage in 1884 to the much older Sarah EDWIN, Samuel Mark HARRIS gave his father's name
as "John HARRIS". Given the Harris family's talent for creating convenient relationships, the suspicion is that the name of
Jane's husband "John HOBEN" has been modified to provide a father's name for Samuel on his wedding certificate. There seems little chance
at time of writing of proving this hypothesis one way or the other. Jane HARRIS and William HUMPHRIES were witness at the marriage.
Interestingly, Sarah EDWIN was the sister of Ann EDWIN, whose husband was William HUMPHRIES. Their daughter,
Matilda HUMPHRIES also married into the HOBEN family when she married Edward HOBEN (above) in 1893. They are our direct ancestors.
Jane HOBEN died on the 31st May 1892 in Cheapside, Aston, Birmingham, from TB. We do not yet know what became of her
daughter Mary Elizabeth HARRIS, her husband John HOBEN or Henry BATES.
Family legend tells us that John and Jane HOBEN's eldest son, Richard HOBEN, died whilst serving overseas in the King's Royal Rifles.
Their only daughter, Ann HOBEN migrated to Canada in 1884 at the age of 16. There she married William BEAN in 1891 and had
10 children all of whom survived to adulthood. Edward and Thomas both married in Birmingham and settled later in Kings Norton,
Edward in Bournebrook near Selly Oak and Thomas in Smethwick. Sadly Samuel Mark HARRIS died in 1890 just six years after his marriage to Sarah EDWIN.
The HOBAN surname has seen many different spellings over time:
Hoban, Hoben, Hobern, Hoborn, Hobin and even Habern in the 1901 census.
Although it is not a common surname name in the UK, the many variations in spelling of HOBAN has made an interesting challange of tracing
the family history in and around Birmingham, Aston, Deritend, Warwickshire, and Selly Oak & Smethwick,
Kings Norton, Worcestershire.
Last Updated September 2007