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Macmann (McMahon, McMann) connections in Massachusetts
Posted by: Gordon Macmann (ID *****2938) Date: November 15, 2002 at 02:55:34
  of 4

GREETINGS to those special folk who dare to write their last name "Macmann" and a CURSE on the legions of file clerks who have conspired to obfuscate our family name for generations!

I've been investigating the line of my ancestor William "McMahon" of Taunton and Middleboro for several years. He was born about 1793 (perhaps in or near Limerick, Ireland) and immigrated to the United States at a date unknown but certainly before 1830. He married 3 Apr 1830, at the Broadway Congregational Church, Taunton,MA, Jemima Morse. Although the intentions (13 Mar 1830, Taunton VR) and marriage records both identify his bride as Jemima "Morse" she was apparently the widow of William Deane. Marriage intentions of Jemima Morse of Middleboro & William Deane of Woodstock,VT were recorded in the Middleboro VR, 29 Aug 1825. The FUNERAL of William Deane was recorded by the Pilgrim (*) Congregational Church of Taunton, 28 Sep 1826. The 1850 Census shows Lucy W. Deane, age 23, in the household of William & Jemima "McMahon."

(*) "Pilgrim" and "Broadway" refer to the same church in Taunton.

A William "McMan" was listed in the 1830 Census, Taunton, age 20-30, with female age 30-40, and female child under age 5. The ages of husband and wife seem to have been REVERSED and the female child was apparently Lucy W. Deane, born about 1827.

I recently located the 1840 Census record of this family, which had been indexed as "McMahony" in the Taunton Census, an absurd error since the entry CLEARLY reads William McMahon!

1840 Census, Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, page 96, line 4:

William McMahon;

2 males, under age 5 [born 1836-1840]
1 male, 5 to under 10 [born 1831-1835]
1 male, 40 to under 50 [born 1791-1800]
1 female, 10 to under 15 [born 1826-1830]
1 female, 30 to under 40 [born 1801-1810]

The close proximity of the 1830 William "McMan" and the 1840 and 1850 William "McMahon" to other families helps confirm that this was the SAME person, listed in all three censuses.

1850 Census, Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Household #1300, Family #1346:

Wm McMahon age 57, born Ireland;
Jemima age 47, born Massachusetts;
Samuel S. age 15, born Massachusetts;
James E. age 14, born Massachusetts;
John C. age 3, born Massachusetts;
Lucy W. Dean age 23, born Massachusetts.

The Vital Records of Taunton to 1850, births, include the entry:

McMann, John E. (MacMann), s. W[illia]m (McMann), labourer, and Jemima, Sept. 1, 1846, in T. [John Elijah McMahan, C.R.5.]

Taunton C.R.5. = Winslow Congregational Church of Taunton, Trinitarian.

John E. Macmann had therefore been INCORRECTLY listed as John "C." in the 1850 Census.

Also in the 1850 Census, Middleboro, Household #653, Family #767:

Edward Adams, age 37, born Massachusetts;
Lucy W., age 37, born Massachusetts;
Jemima Morse, age 68, born Massachusetts;
William M. McMahon, age 12, born Massachusetts;
Emerson P. Morse, age 29, born Massachusetts;
Marston S., age 24, born Massachusetts;
Vesta H., age 23, born Massachusetts.

There were considerable age discrepancies for both Edward Adams and his wife Lucy (between censuses of 1850 and 1870) but all other evidence suggests that his wife "Lucy W." was the same Lucy W. Morse listed in Middleboro marriage intentions to Edward Adams, 3 Nov 1834. Lucy W. Morse, daughter of Samuel & Jemima (Bent) Morse, was born 25 Aug 1802, Middleboro. Other children of Samuel & Jemima (Bent) Morse included sister Jemima (born 20 Jan 1804, Middleboro) wife of William McMahon; and brothers Emerson Pratt Morse (born 14 Oct 1822, Middleboro) and Marston Sampson Morse (born 31 Dec 1824, Middleboro) who certainly seem to be the persons listed above. The Jemima Morse listed above in the 1850 Census was the widow of Samuel Morse, who had died in 1836. Jemima (Bent) Morse, daughter of Joseph & Sarah (Sampson) Bent and widow of Samuel Morse, was born 17 Jan 1781 and died 30 Jul 1856, according to Middleboro Town Records.

Therefore, this William "McMahon" and his wife Jemima Morse had four sons:

Samuel, born about 1835;
James, born about 1836 (according to the 1850 Census) but most likely born in 1839;
William, born about 1838;
John Elijah, born in 1846.

The line of James E. Macmann is fairly clear: he married Lydia Ann Pratt, daughter of Ebenezer Pratt, 16 May 1860, Middleboro; they had children Lydia Ann (b. 4 Nov 1860, she apparently died before 1865), "Nellie" Williams (b. 23 Jan 1866) and Bernard Ebenezer (b. 22 Jul 1872) who was my ancestor.

According to our own records, James E. Macmann was actually born 23 Mar 1839 (in Taunton) but his birth did not appear in the public records.

The death of Jemima (Morse) McMahon was recorded 19 Jan 1851, Taunton,MA.

The 1855 State Census of Massachusetts, Middleboro, has the following entry:

Household #151, Family #158

ADAMS, Edward age 44, male, Farmer
Lucy age 52, female,
MORSE, Jennings age 74, male, Farmer
MACMAN, James age 16, male, Farmer
John M. age 9, male.

I have not seen the original text of this census but I'm confident "Jennings" Morse according to the above transcription was actually Jemima (Bent) Morse, GRANDMOTHER of James and John Macmann, NOT a male farmer. In fact, there is NO RECORD of any "Jennings" Morse in Middleboro, period. Note that John's middle initial was now listed as M.

1860 Census, Middleboro, Household #432, Family #530:

Edward Adams age 48, male, Master farmer, born Mass.;
Lucy age 57, female, born Mass.;

continued at the top of the next page:

Laura Sears age 4 months, female, born Mass.;
John Macman age 13, male, born Mass.

1870 Census, Middleboro, Household #302, Family #352:

McMann Sam'l age 36, male, Iron Foundry, born England;
Jennie age 23, female, keeping house, born England;
Willie age 3, male, born Mass.

1870 Census, Middleboro, Household #835, Family #899 and #900:

Adams Edw'd, age 64, male, Farmer, born Mass.;
Lucy W. age 70, female, keeping house, born Mass.;

McMahon Jn. E. age 24, male, Works in (?) born Mass.;
Sarah A. age 19, female, keeping house, born Mass.

The next family (#901) listed on the above census page was Emerson P. Morse.

1880 Census, Middleboro, ED #567 [North] Household #43, Family #47:

Adams Edward age 72, male, Farmer, born Mass;
Lucy W. age 77, female, wife, keeps house, born Mass;
McMann Edward A. age 9, male, grandson, born Mass.

1880 Census, Middleboro, ED #568 [South] Household #367, Family #420:

McMann Samuel age 45, male, Furnaceman, born Mass.;
Jennie age 32, female, wife, keeping house, born England;
William H. age 13, male, son, at school, born Mass.;
Arthur age 7, male, son, at school, born Mass.

The 1893 Plymouth Directory listed Edward A. McMann and Albert R. McMann, labourers, both in the household of James R. Harlow. Looking back to the 1880 Census of Plymouth for James R. Harlow led me to an interesting discovery.

1880 Census, Plymouth, ED #569 [Northern] Household #176, Family #213:

Harlow James R. age 29, male, Farm labourer, born Mass.;
Sarah A. age 28, female, wife, keeping house, born Mass.;
Edward A. M. age 10, male, son, attending school, born Mass.;
Carrie L. M. age 7, female, daughter, attending school, born Mass.;
Albert R. M. age 6, male, son, born Mass.

The inclusion of the extra initial "M" after the names of all the children hints at the missing surname which the 1893 Plymouth Directory provided. In the 1900 Census, Plymouth, James R. Harlow and his wife "Alma S." had been married 22 years (about 1878) and Albert R. McMann was listed in the household as a son in law. I'm not certain whether John Elijah Macmann had died between 1874 and 1878 or whether the couple had divorced, but it seems very likely that "Sarah A." the former wife of John E. Macmann of Middleboro had married James R. Harlow of Plymouth about 1878. The Plymouth and Middleboro censuses above had been taken eight days apart, leaving ample time for Edward A. Macmann to return to his mother in Plymouth and be listed in both. All indications were that Edward & Lucy W. (Morse) Adams had been a childless couple so the description of the young Edward as their "grandson" in the 1880 census suggests John E. Macmann had been formally adopted.

It also appears that the wife of James R. Harlow had taken her former middle name as her first name, beginning at some unknown date between 1880 and 1900. Thus "Sarah A." in 1880 and "Alma S." in 1900 were the same person.

Continuing the line of Samuel Macmann:

The Samuel "McMann" in the 1870 Census, said there to have been born in England, and the man of that same name shown in the 1880 Census, born in Massachusetts, were almost CERTAINLY the same person: both were ironworkers, both had a wife named "Jennie" born in England about 1847 and both had a son named William born about 1867.

Samuel M. McMann was listed in the 1892 Middleboro Directory, employed by the LeBaron Foundry.

It is very likely he had been the son of William & Jemima and brother of James E. Macmann, who was also a furnaceman at the LeBaron Foundry. His middle initial "M" leads me to believe that the "S" shown in the 1850 census had been an error and his full name had been Samuel Morse Macmann, named for his maternal grandfather. I have NOT been able to locate either this Samuel Macmann or my own James E. Macmann in the 1860 census! Perhaps finding one would lead to the other ...

The best I can do here is to state that Samuel Macmann was still living in Middleboro, 1892, and his wife Jennie was still living in 1880.

As shown above, they had sons William H., born about 1867, and Arthur, born about 1873.

1920 Census, Suffolk County, ED #548, Household #541, Family #637:

Macmann William H. age 52, born Mass, father born Mass, mother born England;
Nellie M. age 51, born NH, both parents born New Hampshire;
Theodore A. age 27, born Mass,
Norman E. age 24, born Mass,
Walter T. age 23, born Mass.

The above census entry was interesting enough, but the very next entry on the same page:

Dorigan William H. age 53, Head, born Mass, both parents born Ireland;
Nettie W. age 53, wife, born Mass, both parents born Mass;
Archie C. age 21, son, born Mass, both parents born Mass;
Macmann Lydia age 79, widow, mother in law, born Mass, both parents born Mass.

The wife of James E. Macmann was Lydia Ann Pratt, who was born 22 Jul 1840, in Carver,MA. He had died in Middleboro, 15 Dec 1909. The list of children of James & Lydia Macmann provided to us by the Middleboro Town Clerk identified their daughter, born 1866, as "Nellie" Williams Macmann but the 1892 Middleboro Directory listed a "Nettie" W. McMann.

Our family records provide that Lydia (Pratt) Macmann had died 14 Dec 1922, in New London,CT, which was probably correct since the information came from cousin Cecily (Grant) Carmichael [now deceased] who was the daughter of Cecil & May (Macmann) Grant and grgrandchild of James & Lydia.

However, the information shown above suggests that (in 1920, at least) Lydia had been living with her daughter "Nettie" in Boston and next door to her nephew, William H. Macmann.

The earliest signatures of James E. Macmann in our possession show that his name had been
written in exactly that manner more than a century ago. We had thought (perhaps) this had been
some accident due to ignorance but a weak argument given the persistence of that unusual spelling
(against all odds) in our own line. The discovery of these other connected lines, using the SAME
spelling in 1920, makes it clear - this was no accident!

An Arthur "Macmann" was listed in the 1920 Census, Wakefield,MA, his mother born in England and
his age matching the Arthur (son of Samuel & Jennie) born in Middleboro about 1873. I have no
idea whether this couple had any children.

The wife of Willaim "McMahon" was a MAYFLOWER descendant through a number of different lines which include John Alden, John Billington, Francis Eaton, George Soule and Myles Standish. Many of these lines are redundant in my own genealogy as Lydia Ann Pratt, wife of James E. Macmann, and Susan Fuller Sampson, wife of Bernard Ebenezer Macmann, both came from Old Colony stock.

It's very likely there are LIVING descendants of either:

Theodore A. Macmann, born about 1893, probably in Boston, living in Boston, 1920;
Norman E. Macmann, born about 1896, probably in Boston, living in Boston, 1920;
Walter T. Macmann, born about 1897, probably in Boston, living in Boston, 1920;


Edward A. McMann, born about 1870, probably in Middleboro, living in Plymouth, 1893;
Caroline L. McMann, born about 1873, probably in Middleboro;
Albert R. McMann, born about 1874, probably in Middleboro, living in Plymouth, 1900;


Archie C. Dorigan, born about 1899, probably in Boston, living in Boston, 1920.

If any of the above are in your family tree, we share a common MACMANN line.

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