When Andrew McConville arrived in Altrincham at some time around 1854, it was a small market town with a population of about 4500 mainly concerned with agriculture and market gardening. The railway had come about five years earlier connecting Altrincham to Manchester and the little town was starting to grow. By 1860 Andrew was living in Chapel Street and had met a local girl, Martha Hughes, a dressmaker, who was living in Well Street, later renamed Victoria Street. They were married on 18th June 1860 at St Vincent’s Roman Catholic Church. This was not the church we know today but the church which comprised two cottages, nos. 71 and 73 New Street. The 1861 census shows Andrew and Martha living in Moss Cottages, 4 Lloyd Street. His employment is shown as Bricklayer’s Labourer and his age is shown as 21 and Martha’s as 20. On 4th July 1861 their first child, Agnes was born. There is slight evidence that their next two children, both boys (one named Andrew), died soon after birth. Then
followed Martha on 5th May 1868, Andrew on 16th March 1874 and Mary on 1st May 1876. The census record of 1871 show that the family were living at No.21 Denmark Street. Martha died on 30th June 1878 at the age of 37. Cause of death was certified as phthisis pulmonalis, more usually know as consumption or TB, and that she had had this illness for 2 years. Andrew was left to raise their four children, the eldest being 17 and the youngest just two. Tragedy struck the family again two years later when Agnes died just three months short of her 19th birthday.
Twelve months later, at the time of the 1881 census, they had moved to No.24 Pownall Street, and then on 24th September 1881 Andrew married Ellen Guest. Ellen was a farmers daughter from Dudley in Worcestershire, born on 14th October 1851. She was working in service as a cook and domestic servant for Samuel Armitage, a cotton manufacturer, living on the Mount off Church Street, Altrincham. Ellen and Andrew had six children:
Joseph born 11th June 1882
Samuel born 3rd October 1883
Thomas Ross born 9th April 1885
James Henry born 4th June 1886
Evelyn born 23rd March 1888
Ellen born 3rd April 1889
Five of the six children emigrated to Canada in the ealy years of the 20th century, the exception being Evelyn who continued to live in Altrincham and died in 1971.