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McCann, Macann, or Maccann?


wes williams
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Well done, Andrew!! And ditto to all who took part in the chase. Nice to see something so positive happening on the net!

 

I just sent an email to Bob Gaskins, letting him know the case has been solved.....and that we all look forward to his book on the life (and now death) of Professor John Hill MacCann. I don't think Bob closely follows this site these days, so I didn't want him to miss it.

 

Now for those ICA folks in the UK, especially the MacCann players.....this leaves just four months for you to get together a little celebratory session or maybe even a seminar on the occasion of the centenary of MacCann's death. Looks like it will occur in early October this year, thanks to Andrew's research. Maybe that would be a good time to release that long-awaited Duet International, too? :)

 

Dan

Edited by Dan Worrall
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Except, so far at least, though we've now got an obituary and a date, he's not officially dead... :unsure:

 

I've been saying it for 11 years now, but "The Professor", from his origins to his death, is not at all an easy subject to research, and though resources have come on in leaps and bounds in the meantime, we still don't have a definitive date of death or a death certificate for him - and that document could yet prove revealing about his health/habits in his latter years.

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Hmmm.....he sure looks dead to me, Stephen! As for a death date, it was sometime between Sunday 10th and Wednesday 13th October 1915, as the reporter said on a Thursday that he had died earlier that week. Sure, someone should see if there is a death certificate, and maybe a burial location, both very nice to have, but for most of us, Andrew has found the smoking gun.

 

As for how he died, we can assume perhaps that it was not foul play, else the reporter would have mentioned that. There were a bazillion ways one could die of disease or poor health in Victorian urban England. Great if we can find that on a death certificate, but that is perhaps of less interest than his obit.

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Except, so far at least, though we've now got an obituary and a date, he's not officially dead... :unsure:

 

 

 

Although of course,the balance of probabilities is high enough to say that there is an entry for him in the Register of Deaths for Liverpool district for the period Oct-Dec 1915, volume 8b Page 105?

Member Dowright stated that he had applied for the death certificate for this entry, but had been advised that it did not exist (see entry for 18 May 2015) ... aliens again?

Edited by Irene S.
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Certainly if Bob Gaskins likes to get in touch, I'll glady pass on whatever I've found during the hunt for the Professor - I'm sure he has most of it, but there may be a few bits to fill out the story. The two main loose ends I'd still like to see tidied away, are Minnie Maccann's maiden name, and whatever happened to Sarah (Kennerley). Probably even harder to track down than the Prof's death, but we can but hope. And check my thread on Maccann and Mexborough for another question to ponder - any help there would be appreciated.

 

Andrew

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Now for those ICA folks in the UK, especially the MacCann players.....this leaves just four months for you to get together a little celebratory session or maybe even a seminar on the occasion of the centenary of MacCann's death. Looks like it will occur in early October this year, thanks to Andrew's research. Maybe that would be a good time to release that long-awaited Duet International, too? :)

 

Dan

How strange Dan. Dirge and I have discussed the idea of a Maccann get together more than once over the last 5 years or so, and I was intending to try and organise something with Ralphie Jordan - the number of times he maintained that if you got more than two Maccann players together in one room implosion would occur! I recall reporting to him with glee a duet players workshop at Whitby Folk Week where there were around two dozen duet players in the room, of which only two were not Maccann owners. On that occasion nuclear fission should have occurred. It would be good, at long last, to get something sorted. Unfortunately I can't volunteer to set it up, due to current personal circumstances.

 

And YES! Time for Duet International ... and to get Al Day to do another nudge?

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Just a thought, Irene, but isn't Concertinas at Witney at the very end of September? That is within spitting distance of the second week of October. Last time I was there....admittedly, twenty years ago....there were plenty of duet players there. Why not pass the idea onto them, to hold some sort of session or lecture or whatever during that weekend to mark the occasion?

 

I heard back from Bob Gaskins, who was excited at the discovery. Regarding his old MacCann bio project, he says however that, 15 years hence, he has 'lost his command' of the MacCann material. That wouldn't be difficult to do, because as Bob describes it, he has a bookcase four feet high full of collected MacCann documentation, just sitting there. Looks like someone with a burning desire to write the definitive bio of MacCann should contact Bob....just my opinion. Randy Merris likes writing about the concertinas in the Music Halls (see PICA).....just a thought.....are you there, Randy? Or maybe Andrew or Myrtle's Cook or Stephen? Who will put the bell on the tail of this cat?

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Hmmm.....he sure looks dead to me, Stephen! As for a death date, it was sometime between Sunday 10th and Wednesday 13th October 1915, as the reporter said on a Thursday that he had died earlier that week. Sure, someone should see if there is a death certificate, and maybe a burial location, both very nice to have...

 

Of course I should have said death registration, rather than death certificate, but that's just typical of my posts in the last few weeks because I'm up against the clock all the time on a library computer, and having to post before I'm really ready to do so, so there are lots of half-formed ideas, wrong words and spellings, unchecked facts etc. - I can't wait to have an internet connection again!

 

Yes, I don't doubt for one moment that he's dead Dan, but it's looking like his death may not have been registered - which is not only highly irregular, but also distinctly illegal. Whilst the place of death and cause of death can be very revealing about a person's health and circumstances at the end of their life, and even the name of the informant can be revealing too.

 

But if your death isn't registered, you're not legally dead... :huh:

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Except, so far at least, though we've now got an obituary and a date, he's not officially dead... :unsure:

 

Although of course,the balance of probabilities is high enough to say that there is an entry for him in the Register of Deaths for Liverpool district for the period Oct-Dec 1915, volume 8b Page 105?

Member Dowright stated that he had applied for the death certificate for this entry, but had been advised that it did not exist (see entry for 18 May 2015) ... aliens again?

 

Except that's for a John McCann born in 1846, and (as I've mentioned) there was such a person in Liverpool, who was alive in 1911, so it's not looking good!

 

(But you never know, fingers crossed...)

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118 posts so far in this thread, so it wouldn't surprise me if this has already been covered, but... is there any record of what happened to any of Maccann's instruments after his (presumed) demise? We do know the whereabouts of concertinas that belonged to William Kimber, Scan Tester, Fred Kilroy, The Fayre Fours Sisters, and some others. One might think that if someone could trace their instrument back to a once-famous performer, they might want to boast of the fact, even if it's now no more than a conversation piece in their home. Facebook? Twitter? Who knows?

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Wonderful work Andrew, and many congrats on being 'the man who solved it'.

 

But so nice to learn that '..he was known throughout the city...' and didn't die in obscurity.

 

Edit: I got hold of a Maccann cylinder recording about 6 months ago, so looks like I've got four months to get it transcribed and published.

Edited by wes williams
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Except, so far at least, though we've now got an obituary and a date, he's not officially dead... :unsure:

 

Although of course,the balance of probabilities is high enough to say that there is an entry for him in the Register of Deaths for Liverpool district for the period Oct-Dec 1915, volume 8b Page 105?

Member Dowright stated that he had applied for the death certificate for this entry, but had been advised that it did not exist (see entry for 18 May 2015) ... aliens again?

 

Except that's for a John McCann born in 1846, and (as I've mentioned) there was such a person in Liverpool, who was alive in 1911, so it's not looking good!

 

(But you never know, fingers crossed...)

 

Hmm,yes,point taken. It's almost as if he planned it, isn't it? :(

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We should remeber, this was 1915. The Battle of Loos, the biggest British offensive of 1915, ran from mid-September to mid-October, right at the time of JHM's death. Probably people had other things on their minds than the passing of an old music hall entertainer. Perhaps, if two people with similar names passed away around the same time, in the same area, they'd get confused and only one would be recorded. There doesn't HAVE to be a conspiracy . . . or aliens!

 

:rolleyes:

 

Andrew

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Having discussed this with a professional geneaologist in the family, she made the point that the matter of date of birth in some public records is never a reliable one, particularly when looking at the matter of reporting and registering a death.The information recorded in the registers relies very much on the accuracy of knowledge of the individual who actually does the registering. Incorrectly recorded dates of birth are apparently quite common. As to the matter of the national Birth and Death Index reporting that there is no death certificate, she pointed out that again, the best means of checking it out is to check with the local rather than national office, as any discrepancies are more likely to be solved at a local level.

Edited by Irene S.
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Having discussed this with a professional geneaologist in the family, she made the point that the matter of date of birth in some public records is never a reliable one, particularly when looking at the matter of reporting and registering a death.The information recorded in the registers relies very much on the accuracy of knowledge of the individual who actually does the registering. Incorrectly recorded dates of birth are apparently quite common. As to the matter of the national Birth and Death Index reporting that there is no death certificate, she pointed out that again, the best means of checking it out is to check with the local rather than national office, as any discrepancies are more likely to be solved at a local level.

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We should remeber, this was 1915. The Battle of Loos, the biggest British offensive of 1915, ran from mid-September to mid-October, right at the time of JHM's death. Probably people had other things on their minds than the passing of an old music hall entertainer. Perhaps, if two people with similar names passed away around the same time, in the same area, they'd get confused and only one would be recorded.

 

Yes, (Liverpool-born) grandpa Chambers' Battalion (2nd Beds.) was particularly "busy" at Loos on 25th September, and such battles were obviously more newsworthy, but that shouldn't really make any difference to the (legally required) registration of a death in Liverpool/West Derby - though, with Liverpool's large Irish population, there was certainly no shortage of men there called John McCann...

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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We now have a report of a death, but where is the body and the grave?

 

I have searched through the burial records for all the Liverpool cemeteries and the Liverpool Cremations register and have found no trace of JHM for the period 1 October 1915 (in case the Echo correspondent was reporting the news a little after the event) and to the end of the first week of November 1915 (in case burial had been delayed). I have found no mention of JHM, or any name remotely close, for these periods. There is a sad litany of the poor and destitute of all ages amongst these records, so his supposed impecunious state cannot be cited as a reason for absence.

 

It is just possible he was buried in one of the handful of the city’s older churches which have their own small graveyards. Most of these, however, were full by 1915 with the exception of family vaults/plots and a few of the city’s well to do and well connected who managed to shoehorn their way into any vacant slots in this period. I have worked my way through most of the parish records for the period and so far found no trace.

 

It is also possible that he died outside of Liverpool (the correspondent gives no place of death, although we might reasonably infer it was Liverpool) and was buried elsewhere. The most promising candidate is Bootle’s main cemetery (Walton Park Cemetery), to the north of Liverpool. I will be making a trip to sunny Boothill, as it is locally affectionately known, to follow this up.

 

The lack of a death certificate and a burial does throw up some speculative considerations:

- Did JHM die in an event that left no remains (swept out to sea/drowned, inferno etc). If so it is odd the Liverpool Echo and Mercury do not report this – both seem to rejoice in this sort of gore and misery!

- Die in circumstances requiring an inquest. No record of such an inquest in the local press, and if there had been an inquest then surely we would have a death certificate (unless there was something in the protocols for issuing an open verdict in the period that meant not)

- JHM did not in fact die (‘rumours of my death have been much exaggerated’…). We have the rather flowery eulogy in the sports column report, but that seems to be it.

 

Most odd!

Edited by Myrtle's cook
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