Richard McManus and Catherine Bradley

Richard and Catherine McManus (nee Bradley) are my husband’s great-great-grandparents and have lived most of their live in Boston, Massachusetts.

According to the family lore (thanks to cousin Warren for sharing the story!) Richard (or Dicky as he was known) and Catherine came to visit Derry with their children. They planned the trip back to Boston in two stages – Catherine went first with some of the children, and Dicky was to follow after with the rest of the children. Upon her return to the States Catherine fell very ill and Dicky had to go back very quickly and couldn’t afford to bring the remaining children with him. He was to come back for them later but sadly died soon after, and the children were split by the Atlantic. My husband’s great-grandfather, Richard (Jr) was left behind in Derry. We are not sure of the fate of the remaining children.

Dicky was born around 1845 most likely in Derry. I haven’t found any birth record for him yet, but there is a naturalisation petition that fits to be him, which says he was born on 17 Mar 1845 in Londonderry, Ireland. He immigrated when he was 15 (5 Apr 1860, haven’t found the ship manifest yet) and was naturalized in 1867 when he was 21.

Massachusetts State and Federal Naturalization Re.jpg

Richard married Catherine Bradley on Christmas Eve in 1873 in Boston, he was 28 and she was 18.

Marriage of Richard McManus and Catherine Bradley, 24th Dec 1873, Boston. Source:

His occupation is listed as “plasterer”, which was a bit surprising as he apparently had been a pub owner. I’m still not sure if this is a mistake, or was there a second couple with exact same names and ages living in Boston at the same time. For now I’d assume this is the correct couple and will have to search through the newly released catholic records by the Archdiocese of Boston and see if the marriage witnesses or the godparents of the children provide any further clues.

Richard is listed in a number of city directories between 1872 and 1880 as “liquor dealer”  and living at 282 Causeway and/or 81 N. Margin. I’d assume one of those is his business, and the other is his home address.

I’d love to see what 282 Causeway looked like in 1870s but at that address currently in Boston is a restaurant, and it’s quite a central location, so it’s quite possible this is the place where the pub once was! Would love to get a picture from those days!

282 Causeway, Boston. Source: Google maps (31st Jan 2016)

I haven’t found much information on the pub so far, but came across the annual report from the City of Boston Fire Commissioner for the year ending 30 Apr 1878 that lists a minor fire on the premises.


Richard seem to have been a well-respected gentleman in the area, as it’s obvious from the article in Boston Globe from 1875. It must have been very hard to become established at such a young age, especially being an immigrant and with no family around.

1875, Boston Globe

The next post will be about trying to  find out who were the children of Richard and Catherine, and about their trip across the ocean.


3 thoughts on “Richard McManus and Catherine Bradley

  1. What a story, Lana! Did Richard, Jr. ever rejoin his mother, or is that coming up in a later post? The Boston Public Library might be able to help you find a photograph of that address in 1870. I have to believe there are photos of Old Boston around.


    1. Svetlana H.

      What a story indeed! Sadly, don’t think he ever saw his parents again. I’ve been having trouble proving which child was left where, but in the next post I’ll gather all my theories. I’m not even sure who brought up the children left in Derry, they were little

      I got in touch with the wife of the grandson of one of the siblings left in Boston, would love for her to share his story too!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s