Crane Driver Posted January 28, 2015 Share Posted January 28, 2015 Purely for my own amusement I have been looking into the family history of ‘Professor’ John Hill Maccann, patentee of the duet system that bears his name. I find that his father, also John Maccann, had a concertina business in Birmingham around 1857-60, and also managed a ‘Juvenile Concertina Band’ in which the professor’s mother, Sarah Hill, was apparently a player. John senior was some 20 years older than Sarah and had been married before, from which he had two daughters, the professor’s half-sisters, Sarah Elizabeth and Louisa Harriett. One account of John Maccann’s Juvenile Concertina Band from 1858 mentions the players being ‘accompanied by Miss Maccann’, presumably one of these daughters. Unfortunately it doesn’t say which one, nor on what she accompanied them. Louisa Harriett Maccann married a George Dunk and they moved to Yorkshire, arriving in Mexborough around 1879. George was a colliery labourer. There is a newspaper report from 1896 of an excursion from Mexborough to Hickleton Hall, Doncaster, at which a brass band played and “Mrs Dunk of Mexborough contributed melody on the concertina”, so she seems to have been accepted as an accomplished amateur player. The Mexborough Concertina Band apparently traced its origins back to 1884, just a few years after Louisa arrived in the area. The Dunks had several children including John Hillham Dunk and Joseph Maccann Dunk. Both the latter were born in Mexborough and by 1911 were working in the colliery offices. The Mexborough Concertina Band drew heavily on the colliery for players. Did the Dunk brothers, “Professor” Maccann’s nephews, also play with the band? Did their mother, Maccann’s half-sister who had probably played with ‘John Maccann’s Juvenile Concertina Band’ in the 1850s, have a hand in the formation of the Mexborough Concertina Band? It seems a bit of a coincidence if they didn’t. Are there still records of the people who were involved in the Band during the first 30 years of its existence? I apologise if all this is known already, but I haven't found it laid out anywhere else. Andrew Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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