Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WILLIAM MATHERS "The Actor and Dancer" #12 52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS

WILLIAM MATHERS  “The Actor and Dancer”  #12  52 ANCESTORS 52 WEEKS
In January 2014, Amy Johnson Crow of the Ancestry blog issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.
The premise: write once a week about a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, a research problem — any that focuses on that one ancestor. The next week, write about a different ancestor. In 52 weeks, you’ll have taken a closer look at 52 people in your family tree… and maybe learned a little bit more about them in the process
WILLIAM MATHERS/MATHEWS/MATTHEWS was born in May of 1890 in New York City.  His parents were James Mathers and Cecelia O’Brien.
This person is a mystery.  I found him in the census from 1890 to 1940.  William was first living with his parents in Manhattan and then after 1910 he lives with his grandmother, until she dies in 1933. He continued to live in the same house in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York in the 1940’s with his Aunt Katie Morris and cousin Bunny Morris.
William’s parents, James and Cecelia, are a mystery also.  I can’t find death records, census records after 1910, directories or cemetery listings for either parent.
William Mathers worked in the theater on Broadway, sometimes as a prop man but most times as an actor as indicated in the census.
My father remembers him practicing tap dancing in his room on a piece of plywood.  
Everyone in the family I have asked would say “Oh yes Willie was an actor” but no one really knew anything about him.  I have checked for death records and cemetery listings and have not found him.  I don't believe he ever married, if he did it would be after 1940.
I looked at some “Variety” magazines for any mention of him in the theater but never found him. 
Hopefully with all my questioning of family members someone will have a memory of him besides he was an “actor and dancer”.  I would like to know what shows he might have been in, what theaters he played in, did he dance or act in the show and see any pictures of him besides the one I have.

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