2 August 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 29 - Musical

Week 29 (July 16-22) – Musical: There seems to be a musician in every family. Who is the one in yours? Don’t have a musician? Which ancestor has a lyrical name or reminds you of a song?

Back in March I wrote about Agnes McManus (Mullen) who was apparently a Yodeller, but this week I want to focus on her husband Andrew McManus who was well known in the Sunderland England region as a tenor/singer/comedic entertainer

Andrew was born about 1873 in Sunderland England, the son of Andrew McManus and his wife Mary (last name not known). Andrew's parents were Irish and his eldest sister Bridget was also born in Ireland before the family moved to England about 1866.

Andrew was one of at least 5 McManus siblings - Bridget, John, Mary, Andrew and Catherine. He is my Great-Grandmother's brother-in-law.

The Sunderland Echo newspaper has many articles where Andrew is mentioned singing at concerts and fund-raisers. The earliest I have found to date is from May 31st, 1892.

On the same bill that night was Paganini Redivivus (Paganini Revived) - a violinist who hid his identity but was well known in the UK, who played violin in the manner of the famous Italian violinist Paganini

Here are some other articles I've found, also in the Sunderland Echo:
June 20, 1893

November 10, 1902 - with his Irish ancestry, he often sang in support of Irish causes or sang Irish songs (even comedic Irish songs):

July 10, 1903

March 3, 1904

January 29, 1910

He married Agnes Mullen, my Great-Grandmother's sister in about 1897. The 1901 census lists them them managing a "bar" in South Shields England and the 1911 census lists Andrew as a Music Hall Artist. He and Agnes were living with Agnes' parents. 

As I mentioned in my blog about Agnes in March, the life of a Music Hall Artist likely involved a large amount of travel away from home and a lot of socialising. In January 1915, Agnes sued Andrew for spousal support:

One interesting snippet I found was a Lost and Found advertisement where Andrew seems to have lost his Penang Lawyer (cane). (Sunderland Echo April 17, 1902)

In the ad, Andrew can be contacted at the British Crown Hotel, High Street East Sunderland. Our family has another connection to this hotel - in the 1881 census Thomas Dobson, my Great-Great-Grandfather (and father-in-law to Mary Mullen, Agnes Mullen's sister) was the Licenced Victualler of that hotel.
Andrew's life ended while living in the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged in Sunderland England on December 5, 1951 and he was buried at Mere Knolls Cemetery in Sunderland.

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