A lovely cousin, Anne, sent me a document few days ago, and little did I know when I opened it that I won’t be getting much sleep that night and will be re-reading and researching the unexpected contents of it till all hours!
She had found the last will of Richard McManus in 1907 – in Brooklyn! This is a great example why one should check all locations and not get stuck in assumptions. Richard had lived in Boston, and the family story was he followed his wife (c.1884) back to USA from Derry and died shortly after – so I searched Boston back and forth, death records, cemeteries – nothing! In hindsight – Richard’s sister Margaret (McManus) McDade lived in New York, so I should have checked there too… but I didn’t until I got the will!
Richard died in January 1907 in Brooklyn, age 63, and was buried in the Holly Cross cemetery in Brooklyn.
His probate documents (29 Apr 1907, full document available on ancestry) tell the unexpected story of the last 25 years of his life…
His probate lists the names and addresses of all people entitled to any portion of his estate – his wife Catherine and a child “Charles”, name being fictitious, as well as his three children John, Richard and Catherine living at 14 Fulton Street, Londonderry.
It also goes on explaining:
“… That your petitioner is unable to ascertain whether or not the said deceased left him surviving widow, although your petitioner has made diligent effort to do so.
That your petitioner is informed by Margaret McDade, a sister of deceased, and by Joseph B. Markey, one of the subscribing witnesses to said Will and Codicil and a close friend of deceased before his death,
that Catherine McManus, the wife of deceased, left him about twenty-five years ago while the said deceased was residing in Ireland, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, taking with her a son of said deceased;
that his said wife came to the United States of America, but the deceased had never learned of her whereabouts or those of said son, and has not seen her nor his said son since their separation from him as aforesaid.”
Richard didn’t know the whereabouts of his wife Catherine for 25 years, and the infant son she took with her must have been Patrick Aloyious McManus, born and baptised in Derry on 7th April 1883
(I’m wondering how would he be baptised and his father not know his name? Was it done in secret, or did Richard think Catherine may have changed his name? And why “Charles” – it is not a name that I’ve seen in the family lines before? And finally – the ship manifest for Catherine and her two children Jane and Patrick from Dec 1884 is probably the wrong one, Patrick indicated on his naturalization papers he arrived on 4th May 1883 – which seems more plausable now, he would have been a month old! I’m yet to find that ship manifest)
I will continue looking into this, and feel I may have to go back and re-write some of the previous stories… I still haven’t fully gotten my head around this new twist.
Few weeks before the Grayhound crashed, Mary Ann Bradley and her three children – Patrick (10), Catherine (8), Ellen (6) and Mary (3) had made the trip from Charlottetown to Boston to build a new life for themselves. Mary and her husband John were both Irish-born living in Scotland, all their children born there. He had likely arrived in Boston ahead of them to look for a job.
The family lived in Boston in 1870, the father John was a labourer and his son Patrick, who was 17, was a shoemaker.
I had discarded the above family as a wrong one for a long time as they are also listed living together in 1880 census (and one more daughter, Rachel born in 1871) on 5 Foster Street and all children were listed single. I knew Catherine had married Richard McManus in 1873 and was listed living with him in 1880 census together with their two children. She also had a daughter, Catherine, born in Oct 1880. I had put a little note at the daughter’s birth to follow up that there is a child McNulty born the following day at the same address. However, the address of the birth for baby Catherine was different to where her parents lived according to the 1880 census. I had assumed the family had moved between the census date in April and the birth in October.
The address where her daughter was born was 5 Foster Street, and I didn’t spot it’s the same as above until much later!
I did, however, decide to follow up on that other child McNulty that was born in the same house a day later, especially since there were two boarders listed living with the family – Neil McNulty (23, single) and Frank Sullivan (21, single). The little boy was Frank McNulty and his mother was Ellen. A quick search revealed a marriage record between Neil McNulty and Ellen Bradly on 25th Dec 1879 – Ellen’s parents were John and Mary Bradley!
Following on the other boarder revealed a second marriage on the same day between Francis J Sullivan and Mary A Bradley. The two boarders were the sons-in-law, and the enumerator had obviously made a mistake. Two of the sisters got married together on Christmas day 1879, and then the following year one of them and the other sister Catherine had a baby a day apart!
The 1900 census was equally confusing. John Bradley was enumerated once living with his wife Mary and their grandson Patrick McManus at 280 Marginal Street, and a second time with his daughter and son-in-law Francis and Mary A Sullivan at 633 Bennington Street.
The 1910 census was really unexpected – John Bradley was living at 98 Cowper Street with William P. and Catherine Reid. His youngest daughter Rachel who had married Phillip J Molloy was living next door at 99 Cowper street with their 8 children. So this was the correct family! But who were the Reid family?
I’ve come across (and until now had put ait side before as a coincidental name match) a marriage record for Catherine McManus and William Reid on 25 Jan 1897, Catherine parents were John and Mary Bradley. Catherine had remarried which explains why I couldn’t find a death certificate for her around 1895.
I haven’t found anything more on any of the sisters or Patrick, apart from Rachel but I have found the death notices for both John and Mary Bradley – Mary died 1909, and her husband John – in 1913.
The death certificate for Mary was also a surprise – her parents are listed as Owen Keenan and Ellen Mullen, not names I’ve seen before in the family tree. I haven’t been able to find any death record for John Bradley despite manually going through the record images.
There are still many gaps, and many people to follow up on. I’m not sure why Mary and John were buried in Malden, and the church mentioned in the newspaper “The Church of The Star of the Sea” is also quite out of the way. I’m not sure why Catherine is listed as having no children in 1900 census, and what happened to her and William after 1900. There is no evidence of her going back to Derry where the rest of her children were, so maybe she had fallen on hard times – I can’t even imagine the pain of having three of your children grow up in a different country. I haven’t been able to trace her other siblings either after 1910, with the exception of her youngest sister Rachel.
There is a DNA match between a McManus descentents and Rachel’s which prompted me to revisit all the documents on the Bradley line last week, and that’s when all this information started unravelling. So that further strenghtens the case that this is indeed Catherine (Bradly) McManus’ family.
There are still so many gaps to fill in, and probably so many stories to be told.
Work has been quite busy lately but I’ve managed to find a bit of free time to keep researching, and have come across some very interesting information. This will be a long post!
I’ve contacted the Boston City Archives and the North End Boston Historical Society, and both have been incredibly helpful pointing me in the right direction.
The lovely archivist from Boston City Archives also send me this amazing photo of 280 Causeway Street from 1896. It’s about 15-20 years after Richard had a liquor shop next door (282 Causeway) but you can still see how the place looked at the time.
Another great find last couple of weeks was the meaning behind “Revere Hall”, the occupation for Richard in 1880 census, and why in 1880 city directory was he listed as “Butler & McManus”
The answer came from a news article in Boston Sunday Globe in 1881, which not only answered those questions, but provided lots of other useful information to follow up on!
It’s clear from the newspaper clipping that Butler in 1880 city directory reference is to T.C.Butler, and him and Dick McManus were associated with Revere Billiard Hall, which seems to be an entertainment establishment. Boston has a huge databases of historical documents and photos online, so I will be searching through those to find out more about Revere Hall, when did they take over and when did they stop working there.
There is a photo on flickr of Revere House, circa 1880-1915, which may be the same place where Richard worked.
The above clipping provided two more very useful pieces of information. First, that Richard was abroad on 27 Feb 1881 (possibly Derry?), expected to return within days – which gives me a time frame to search for passenger listings for this trip (and with a bit of luck he may have travelled with his wife and children, so may get more information about them too). And from another newspaper clipping we see he had returned by 11th March, and he seem to have been a very popular guy among his friends!
The second, more interesting piece of information is that he was associated with George H. Homster – he was his “backer and trainer”. Hosmer was a “champion oarsman” as one paper refers to him, and Richard seemed to have had a keen interest in rowing.
I’ll write more about Hosmer and Richard’s relationship in a separate post, but this may be another reason Richard travelled so much, he most likely attended the competitions which were all over USA and Europe. I’m not sure for how long was Richard associated with him, but Hosmer died 23rd Aug 1900 in Boston.
For now, here is one amazing document related to his hobby – in 1880 Richard McManus got a patent for an improved design of an oar with a perforated blade (patent number 230314, Jul 20, 1880) and Hosmer was one of the witnesses. Richard obviously had a very keen interest in rowing! (And wonder if there are any outstanding royalties his descedents can claim:) )
Source: Google patents, Publication number US230314 A, Publication type Grant, Publication date Jul 20, 1880, Filing date May 31, 1880, Inventors Richard Mcmanus, Available online: https://www.google.com/patents/US230314
More on this story to come!
I also found a bit of information on the whereabouts of Kate McManus after her return to Boston – she was alive and living at 65 Charter street, Boston, in April 1892. Her daughter Jennie died age 13 from meningitis on 12th April 1892 at “City hospital, 65 Charter st”, I already had the death civil record, and had assumed this is the hospital address.
However, I was wrong – apparently the day before Jeannie died, a man was arrested for attempted break-in at Kate McManus’ residence at 65 Charter street. Such a sad run of events.
Richard is not mentioned in either newspaper notices, so he had most likely passed away by then, which corroborates the story remembered by the family. One interesting thing in the death notice for Jeannie is the last line “Haverhill papers please copy.” Notices like that were aimed to papers in towns where family or friends lived, so most likely Richard and Kate had family members or close friends living in Haverhill in 1892. I haven’t been able to find who are they yet, but will keep searching.
And finally – seems that the ship manifest for Kate Dec 1884 for her return from Derry to Boston with Patrick and Jane is likely the correct one. A search on the internet showed that in those days the travel times were fairly quick, a ship could cross the Atlantic in 7-10 days. So it’s possible for Kate and the children to have arrived on 22 Dec 1884 (travel time on this ship Cephalonia was about 10 days, so she would have left around 12th Dec), and if she had fallen ill, possibly on the trip, to send a cable back to Ireland, and for her husband to board the next available ship.
There is a record of Richard McManus arriving on ship Oregon in New York on 13 Jan 1885 – the average time with Oregon was around 7 days, so he would have boarded around 6th January. The short timing would also explain why he had no time to organise and bring the rest of the children with him, he may have had to board on standby, possibly even from a different port than Derry.
That’s the main updates on the McManus from the last couple of weeks.
Next post will be about Richard’s possible siblings in Derry, and how I’m using DNA to hope fill the paper trail gaps and prove his mother’s maiden name.
The family members remember the trip of Richard and Catherine to Derry, during which their children ended up separated across the Atlantic after both parents dying unexpectedly.
It seems, however, that they, or at least Catherine must have travelled more than once as it can be seen from the birthplaces of their children.
Richard and Catherine, or at least Catherine, must have travelled
from Boston to Derry some time between 1879 and 1880,
back from Derry to Boston between 1879 and 1880,
agan from Boston to Derry between 1880 and 1883,
and according to the naturalisation for their son Patrick – he came to Boston on 4th May 1883.
I’ve found a possible ship manifest from the ship Cephalonia, which arrived in Boston on 22nd Dec 1884 shows the mother Kate (age 26), daughter Jane (age 5) and son Patrick (11 months). There are small inconsistencies with the ages of Kate and the children – she should have been 29, and children 6 and 9 months. Kate is also listed as born in USA instead of Scotland. However, those ship manifests often contain errors so it’s quite likely this is Catherine travelling with some of the children, after leaving Richard with Richard Jr and Catherine in Derry.
I haven’t found any ship manifests for any of the earlier trips, nor for the return trip for Richard (Sr) from Derry to Boston. It’s also possible that they may have travelled to/from Scotland since Catherine was from there, or to/from USA port other than Boston.
I’m not sure how many children did Dicky and Catherine have, I have found 5 so far:
John – b. 1874, Boston
Richard – about 1877, Boston (no birth record found so far)
Jane – b. 1878, Derry
Catherine – b.1880, Boston
Patrick Aloyious b.1883, Derry
It’s unusual that the birthplaces of the children alternate between Boston and Derry, indicating that the family (or at least their mother Catherine) travelled between the States and Ireland few times.
John McManus (1874 – ?)
Richard and Catherine were married in Boston in Dec 1873, and their eldest son John was born a year later on 6th Dec 1874. The father’s occupation is “saloon” (saloon keeper?) and address is 282 Causey which fits the other records I’ve found for the family. I have not found John in any subsequent records, and he doesn’t appear in the 1880 census, so it’s possible he died as a child. I haven’t found a death record either (neither Boston, nor Derry)
Richard (abt.1877 – ?)
Their second son, Richard, was born around 1877 according to the 1880 census in Boston. The family lived in 81 North Margin street (the home address consistent with the other records) and father’s occupation was Revere Hall (not sure what it is). The 1880 Boston city directory lists the father as “McManus, Richard (Butler & McManus)” with address 7 Green, as well as bds.81 North Margin (which was his residence), so it’s possible he changed jobs between 1878 and 1880.
There are two children listed in 1880 census – Richard who was 3 and born in Boston, and Jane, 1, born in Ireland.
I’ll write more about Richard Jr and his children in another blog post.
Jane (1878 – 1892)
Jane was born on 10th Nov 1878 in Derry, 104 Fountain street, and the occupation for her father Richard is listed as “store keeper” from Boston. She was baptised in St Eugene’s, Derry, and the sponsors were John McManus and Margaret Kane. John is likely either her grandfather or uncle, and I’m not sure how Margaret is related.
Sadly, Jane died when she was 13 from meningitis. I’ll need to search a bit more and see if I can find any hospital records or where she is buried.
Catherine (1880 – ?)
Catherine was born on 31st Oct 1880 in Boston. I have no further information on Catherine, or if she was brought up in Derry or Boston.
Patrick Aloyious (1883, Derry – ?)
Patrick was born on 4th April 1883 in Derry (his year of birth is listed as 1882 in few documents). He was baptised 7 Apr 1883 at St Eugene’s, Derry. His godparents were Edward Doherty and Rose McManus, however I’m not sure yet how are they related to him.
Patrick was brought up in Boston. I have very little information on his childhood but there are number of documents from when he was older. I’ve gotten in touch with a descendant of his, and hopefully will share a more detailed story of his life in a separate post.
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.
Richard married Catherine Bradley on Christmas Eve in 1873 in Boston, he was 28 and she was 18.
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!
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.
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.