Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ice Skates for Christmas

Nan's story tells of the passing of two of Anne Hoey's boys. I always found this part of the story heartbreaking; I would think of each Christmas (I still do now) and wonder how the family ever came through such a horrific experience.

"There were two boys, Stephen (named for Anne's brother) and John born between 1860 and 1865. They had been given ice skates for Christmas and John fell in the pond while trying them out for the first time. Stephen tried to rescue him and when they were pulled out, they were tightly wrapped in each others arms ."

I have tried to find more detail on this accident and death  - I found an entry in Manhattan Bodies in Transit -- for a John Nolan -  who was reported drowned on March 8, 1869.  His death was reported by John Nolan.  According to this coroner's report, John is buried in Calvary Cemetery.      My grandmother's story notes that a baby who died - Thomas  - is also buried in Calvary.

Stephen's body was not registered; I am wondering if this means that they did not find his body after all?

I found an entry in the March 17 1869 Daily Item (Port Chester's newspaper) mentioning the death of John Nolan  - age 6. His death date is given as February 8.   The entry does not mention a drowning and there are no articles in preceding issues about an accident or a drowning. These dates match with the coroners report mentioned above so I think this is perhaps the death notice for John Jr.


  1. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"
    The Heritage Tourist at In-Depth Genealogist:

  2. What a sad story about the boys, and such a puzzle about the lack of records. I've been researching NYC area, too, and for your sake as far as the research task goes, hope the event happened in White Plains. Individuals just get swallowed up in the humanity of large cities like New York.

    I was glad to have found your blog today courtesy of GeneaBloggers.

  3. Such a tragic story about those two young boys! Hope you are able to track down this elusive family.

    Welcome to GeneaBloggers, by the way!

  4. You might be able to find something about this tragic event in state & local newspaper archives.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)