I've been looking into my father's history, and have been hitting some real barriers.
My great-grandfather passed when my grandfather was only 2 according to family accounts. The only real accounts though are from my grandfather's sister, who was 4 at the time.
My great-aunt's story is what she heard from her mother as to her father's passing. She was told by her mother that he had died from injuries sustained while trying to save some kids from a runaway carriage.
My great-aunt's last, and one of very few recollections of her father was of him sitting on the front porch with his coat and hat on, waiting for the ambulance to take him.
I've looked through the New York times, and while this story does exist, it's for an Officer Martin Connell who was potentially mortally wounded while saving some kids in the same situation, also run over by the wheel as the story goes, although it was an automobile.
Now, Martin is her grandfather's name, not her father's.
We have no date or cause of death from any official or unofficial source for her father Patrick J. Connell, or his father Martin, or his brother Henry who also left behind a wife and 5 kids within a few years.
Patrick J Connell (My G-Grandfather) and Henry Connell were only in their 40's and 50's, both with 5 young children in Hell's Kitchen. Both arrived in New York from Ireland in 1878.
There's also a story about a sister Annie Connell, another Great-Aunt, who died in childhood. Family accounts say that she was the victim of poisoning by a "crazy nurse" who put something in the lime juice while she was in the hospital for a minor ailment.
I found the actual article, and there is a very lengthy account of a dillusional cleaning woman working in the nursery who put oxilic acid (bleach) in the lime water which was used in mixing the bottles.
But the names of the dead don't show any Connells, or Annies.
There's a chance one of those 4 who were recovering did not recover and that was her, but it seems slim.
There's also no death info for her either.
So, long story short, I feel as though my Great-Aunt was fed a lot of stories from her mother that don't have any connection with the people in question, despite being based on actual events.
She is the only source for family history during that time period, and family history essentially ends with her.
Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas?