Sunday, July 19, 2020

Andrew Harbison (??? - ???)

I had no reason to believe Andrew existed. I found him because of this wedding announcement, in the Belfast News-Letter of Wednesday, March 5, 1851.
Since Henry Harbison of Dungannon is undoubtedly the famed Redemptorist, and Andrew was his brother, William Harbison (b. 1780) must therefore have been his father. There is no record of Andrew's baptism. I'm inclined to think he was born after Henry, since his is not a typical Harbison forename, so this would place his birth between 1822 and 1825. He was evidently a solicitor or barrister. 
Fergus O'Farrell, Esq., his father in law, was a spirit-dealer of long standing on Waring Street in Belfast. Andrew himself was a wholesale grocer on Victoria Street, who alas, went bankrupt in 1853, and took a job as a clerk in a bonded tea warehouse, working for John James Moore, who was the principal of the Great Belfast Tea Fraud of 1857-1858. Andrew himself has a bit part in that, and was arrested by the police in October 1857. Andrew was unable to post bail, and spent six weeks in Antrim County Jail before being released on his own recognizance. However, he was acquitted on trial the following spring, and Moore had disappeared. Andrew also disappeared. I searched in vain for record of his death or that of his wife.
And then, I found this, one of the weirder discoveries of my genealogical career. 
So Andrew had died by 1879. But more intriguing was his widow's new beau, whose full name was Michel-Thomas Massif des Carreaux de Manefosse, a French aristocrat (natch), born January 24, 1820. His family had been stripped of their title in the French Revolution, but re-acquired it by legislation in 1859. Michel Thomas seems to have been rich, and had residences in Paris, in Normandy, and possibly elsewhere. How Mary O'Farrell Harbison ran into him is anyone's guess; I can only speculate that Andrew Harbison decamped to the Continent with John James Moore, settled in Brussels, and somehow worked his way into high society. But that's speculation. 
Mme Mary Elinor Massif des Carreaux de Manefosse was widowed again, poor lass, in 1886, and in an appropriate act of mourning, did a pilgrimage to Lourdes, now 30 years after its supposed apparitions. She then seemed to adjust quite nicely to a life of wealthy leisure, having been reported in London, in Nice, etc., at the appropriate seasons.
Meanwhile, again out of nowhere, a daughter of Andrew and Mary appeared, Mary Josephine (Minnie) Harbison. She seems to have been born in the 1850s, while Andrew was in Belfast, but again I can find no record. But on April 17, 1882, she married a Jospeh Shaw Mulholland, Esq., at the house of her aunt, Elizabeth Hughes Harbison, in Dungannon, or alternatively at the church oratory. This would suggest a mixed-marriage, which would further suggest Mary was not a baptized Catholic, since Mulholland certainly was. James and Bridget Harbison witnessed. 
Joseph and Minnie moved to Derry, where he practiced as a barrister. On May 13, 1891, Minnie had a daughter, Mary Josepha Henrietta Alice Shaw Mulholland (!), and the died of peritonitis a day later. Joseph seems to have abandoned his daughter, but Mme Massif des Carreaux did not. At the time of the 1901 census, the two lived at 10 Longfield Road in Ealing, London W5, worth about £ 2.6 million today, along with a nephew (Paul Fran├žone), The census puts the pair at 61 Landsdowne Place in Hove, Sussex, in 1911, a beautiful enough Regency townhouse I feel I must show a picture.

 Oddly enough, Captain O Shea, Kitty O Shea's cuckolded husband, lived at 19 Landsdowne Place.
Mme Mary Elinor Massif des Carreaux de Manefosse died in Hoveon January 10, 1920 at the ripe old age of 87. The death record cites a second residence at 30 Rue de la Bienfaisance, Paris, also a nice little pile in the quartier de l"Europe of the 8e Arrondissement. 
 Joseph Shaw Mulholland took to calling himself a bachelor, wrote several books of devotion to the Virgin Mary, and moved in with a housekeeper, in Moville, Donegal, altough he maintained offices in Derry. He died, a poor man, in 1915. 
Mary Josepha Henrietta Alice Shaw Mulholland never married, and seems to have become a determined world traveler. She settled for a while in Melbourne Australia, but died in 1970 in Christchurch, England, the last of her line.

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