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Posts posted by sadbrewer

  1. On 10/14/2023 at 12:23 PM, Chris Ghent said:

    I have a Henry Harley here at the moment and it could be one of those. Its a lovely player, beautiful tone. 


    Henry Harley wasn't born until 1833, so the photo would probably be too early for it to be one of his instruments. 

  2. 48 minutes ago, Irene S. said:

    Errmm ... yes you are rather repeating information already on this thread, the addresses from census returns have all been posted up as far as members have managed to track them down (and more from other sources than census) and if you care to read my post before yours you will see that I now have his death certificate - his date of death was actually 12 October 1915, and not 10 October 1915 as the contributor of your information posted. The summary you have posted is information from a family tree posted on  Ancestry, and as with so much family tree information posted there it is not to be relied upon entirely I'm afraid (although looking at it the format looks slightly different, but the provider of the information is quite clearly the same one in view of both the information provided, and the title heading on his family tree page - which made me laugh. ) . A lot of the information that the individual who posted it put up was actually gleaned from this forum discussion as far as I could see when I was looking at it during the week. As an example of divergent information, the  the date of death there is shown as 10 October 1915 (although with no indication of any evidence for using that date), and age at date of death as 57, both in the same entry... both wrong unfortunately as in 1915 Maccann was actually 55. It looks to me as though some information which was already on the family tree was altered later,  since we have date of death shown before date of obituary.

    Contributors to this thread and an earlier one have provided a lot more detailed information (it's worth reading in full). The "marriages" to Minnie (who died in the workhouse in 1908) and to Sarah Jane Kennerley (the marriage certificate makes interesting reading) were both bigamous as his wife Eliza was still alive and kicking, and undivorced after Maccann died in October 1915. It'll take a while to read through the whole thread, but I think you will find the twists and turns of the research that members have carried out interesting. His life would make an interesting film script I reckon, although somewhat depressing in some areas.
    (I have by the way, messaged the Ancestry contributor eaerlier today with updated information about date, place and cause of death as he had obviously not already got that.)

    PS Where did you actually find that detail?


    No sorry I didn't see your previous post Irene...I'd started on this this morning before you posted , and previously there seemed to be a bit of uncertainty as to the 1915 death. I did find the 1911 census return and a 1918 workhouse entry for Sarah where it stated her husband had been John (musician) but that Nok was now her sister...if that was previously posted...apologies I missed it.  The idea was to at least narrow the death down into that 1911-1918 period.   If it's of interest it gives Sarah's Dob as May 27th 1872.


    Below is the link


  3. 47 minutes ago, Irene S. said:

    I have just been re reading some of the earlier parts of this thread, and notice that 8 or more years ago I was trying to track down the date and place of Professor Maccann's death (alongside several others), and I gather from a conversation with Stephen Chambers elsewhere on Facebook this week that a death certificate had still not been tracked down (someone having tried but being told a death certificate for a date recorded in 1915 was untraceable.) Having taken up an interest again, I'm happy to say that I have just been staring at a copy of the death certificate which I have obtained for John McCann, musician, in Liverpool Workhouse on 12 October 1915, which accords with the dated obituary of 14 October 1915 recorded earlier in this thread.

    It may be that some early research was scuppered by assuming that the date of December 1915 in some records was the month of death, whereas in the records it records the end of the quarter in which the death was registered. I think, also, that some assumed that the date of death given of 69 meant it could not be the same person. The professional geneaologist of my acquaintance (40 years' worth of experience of tracing even the most notoriously difficult to find individuals!) assured me before the certificate copy arrived that the date of death on a certificate is only as good as the knowledge of the informant. In this case the informant was the Governor of the Workhouse. (Said geneaologist snorted and indicated that she was not surprised at the inaccurate information - informant not a relative, and maybe noone else available to provide the information.  )

    So, all said and done,it wasn't aliens after all.

    The details are as follows:

    When and where died :   Twelfth October, 1915  Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary U.D
    Name and surname  :      John McCann
    Sex:                                   Male
    Age:                                   69 years
    Rank or Profession:           Musician of 35 St Anne Street U D
    Cause of Death:               Bronchitis  (2) Cardiac Dilatation  Certified by F J Devlin MB
    Signature ,Description and Residence of Informant:
                                               W Bray ... Governor Liverpool Workhouse
    When Registerd:                Nineteenth October 1915

    I just had a look at the images of the address given in St Anne's Street on Google maps, which now appears to be a multistorey car park (not sure about that) on a dual carriage way, although there is a Victorian building standing on the opposite side of the road  ... but everything else on the Street is modern.

    So, the age at date of death on the certificate is quite clearly an inaccurate one ... all the facts fit ... date of the obituary which clearly shows that the Maccann /McCann who died had played in exalted circumstances in his earlier years, but had by the date of his death been reduced to playing in front of football crowds and in pubs and was obviously in reduced circumstances (as evidenced by his "wife" Sarah's residency in the workhouse for a fortnight in 1913. They had obviously had to move from their address in 1913 (always assuming that Sarah was still with him in 1915).

    I was interested to check up on cardiac dilatation - it seems that among the symptoms are tiredness, shortness of breath, swelling in legs, ankles, stomach, chest pain etc. There are apparently a number of possible causes of the illness, hereditary tendencies being one. Interestingly, given some of the speculation on the thread, one of these can be alcohol misuse and one of the risk factors for the condition can be longterm excessive alcohol use . However, having said that there are many other possibilities. Whatever the case he was clearly in a very poorly way

    If I was closer to Liverpool I would love to make a visit to the local record office concerned to see if there were entries for him in the Workhouse records to flesh this out a bit, but if there is anyone who is able to do this, I would love to see what came of it.

    What a sad end. From "King" or "Champion" of concertina players, playing in front of Royalty , making trips around the globe as a celebrated concertinist to playing in the pubs or at football matches, and then dying in the workhouse.


    Just having a look at this ( for the first time, so please forgive me if I am covering  old ground)...the 1911 census gives John 50yrs and Sarah 40yrs Maccann living at 1 Winter Street....


    Then I found this


    Snap 2023-02-17 at 18.04.17.png

    continued overleaf

  4. On 9/17/2022 at 1:36 PM, Clive Thorne said:

    Wow Sad,


    That's amazing.

    Where do you find this sort of information out?



    Clive...the census records were checked through Findmypast and Ancestry, the newspaper advert came from The British Newspaper Archive.

       We dropped a little unlucky that Mr Morton wasn't at the address in the 1891 or 1901 census'...that would have given us his forename and other family member names that we could use to really track him down.

       We could use electoral rolls that may give extra information but unfortunately Sheffield's are not online...visit to the archives in person only. I also used the search for W Morton, Grocer, Sheffield, 1891-1901 and did find one, unfortunately at an address in Grimesthorpe Road in 1891 and 1901, so probably not our man.


     My guess is that he took the shop but it was not a success ( although I can find no record of a bankruptcy) and after a couple of years went back to his original trade. He could have died of course...there are four deaths for W Morton's in Sheffield between 1898 and 1901 but without ordering death certificates there is no way of knowing if any are our man. If you were interested enough you could order the certificates one by one at £7 from the GRO, you might strike gold with the first, however Mr Morton may not have died in which case it would be money wasted...you never know till you try.


       The house was condemned in the slum clearances of 1939 but the picture below( from Picture Sheffield) is from the 1960's when the street was still up, it shows No's 131 to 143, suggesting 193 would have been 25 houses around the corner.



    Snap 2022-09-19 at 01.01.40.png

  5. 13 hours ago, Clive Thorne said:

    Sad ( I hope you're not),


    Thanks for your interest.



    I make it out to be:

    W Morton

    193. Milton (Road/Street),*


    And I see that the date actually says March 1898.


    * Google maps shows that Sheffield has both. Milton Road (now only seems to go to 100) and 193 Milton Street seems to be Old Brick built industrial units which are scheduled for conversion to flats.


    However, being only a 46 key I guess that the player was not a professional or of any particular note.




    Clive, unfortunately W Morton was not at that address in either the 1891 or 1901 census. The property though was a rented shop with accomodation, both the 1891 & 1901 occupants were Grocer's by trade so it's probably fair to accept W Morton was the same. He was advertising for a servant in 1896.


    Snap 2022-09-15 at 20.14.47.png

  6. On 9/13/2022 at 9:12 PM, amberlayli said:

    Hi everyone ! I'm getting my first english concertina soon and I'm interested in learning some sea shanties. I've seen some books with sea shanties for anglo concertina. Are there any materials out there for english ? I think I'd do better with english as its unisonoric.


    Thanks for your help !



    Look around the second-hand shops or auction sites, there are often old song books written for community singing accompanied by piano, maybe not as good as bespoke concertina composition but the melodies are still there of course.

  7. On 8/8/2022 at 10:36 PM, David Barnert said:

    Here’s a page from the Wheatstone ledgers of October, 1851:




    Your instrument, #3487, is listed on the 10th line. I can’t tell you anything more about how to interpret what’s there.


    Hamilton & Co    £6 pounds 4 shillings paid.

    I'm not saying it's them, but there was an Organ & Piano dealer of that name at Stokes Croft, Bristol. Est 1843.

  8. One thing that's not been mentioned is the bellows....I've never tried making any but I would have thought it was much easier and quicker to make simple 4 sided bellows rather than 6,8, or 12 sides.....I would reckon you can make quite a number compared to an Aeola or even worse Edeophone.

       I've only owned one accordion, but going from memory the fretwork and keyboard were just mouldings rather than hand cut and drilled wood.

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  9. On 5/11/2022 at 9:16 AM, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

    That's very interesting; then wherever they got their own nstrunents from maybe we will never know. Later on there was other shop called Gough & Davey.. but that sold mostly pianos, keyboard, and sometimes other things. Of course there is musical history to the City anyway.


    In the 1880's there were a few

    Banks' Music shop on Stonegate.

    Waddingtons also on Stonegate

    W Bell's on Micklegate

    Clarkson's on Stoney Street.

    Gray's ( later R. Sutcliffe's) also on Stoney St.

    James Marsh, Newton Lane, Clifton


    This firm were around in 1881


    Snap 2022-05-12 at 15.44.15.png

  10. 57 minutes ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

    York, a concertina band? No i never knew that. I wonder where they bought the instruments. One place may have been a good old greatly acclaimed music shop that started in the 18th century ( now gone!).. Banks Music Shop it was called; marvellous place, music books, instruments, records.. in more modern times nearly everything you could wish for. And where I got my own concertina from (1999).

    Shop now gone .  Sold to chain of generic music shops! Burton Stone Lane is no more than a mile or so from City Centre. ( Of York).


    When the band was advertising for new members it was stipulated that they must have their own instrument.

  11. On 4/13/2022 at 5:36 PM, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

    What fascinating information is being recovered over this topic; I found that image online when I was trying to help out on the Astley name for MR Chris Rowe in here.  It's amazing how one basic line of request for information can expand to even wider results. I know concertinas enjoyed a golden period in this time of history, and were already sold in their masses.


    Do you know York had its own Concertina Band as early as 1883? ...run by George Brown,  Church Lane, Tannery Row. The Secretary was David Brown, address,  18 and a half, Burton Lane.

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