I couldn't find any record of my reply to this so I'm sending this again - sorry if you've already received this.
Thanks for your reply - and here's a brief resume of where I am and what I know. Sorry if it gets convoluted. I have bracketed the James to make the generations clearer.
I am looking to confirm the reputed death of a James (Edward) O'Neil(3) 'somewhere in the Dominion of Canada' in 1915 but I cannot find any confirmation of this. Three of his aunts lived in NYC from 1851 to 1918. One of the aunts died in 1916 and in the probate details (NYC) his death is mentioned as occuring 'in the Dominion of Canada year last past'. This is contained in the affadavit of one of the surviving aunts who says that they all received a letter from his wife Mary in which she informs them she had received a visitor informing her of his death. They appear to have written back to Mary informing her that 'Jimmie had been seen recently in NYC' and she has replied that her informant seemed genuine but that she would not believe anything without absolute proof. It is Mary's second letter only that is submitted as evidence in the probate.
So more about his his and his family's history.
James O'Neil(1) b1805, his wife wife Catherine Walsh b1806 and 9 children left Clonakilty Co Cork Ireland in 3 phases 1850-1852 and settled in NYC. With the exception of 2 sons all stayed in NYC. The children were all born Cashalisky and baptised at The Church Of The Immaculate Conception, Clonakilty and were as follows:
23 May 1835 - Mary Ann - Godfather Peter Neill, Godmother Honora Walsh 4 Sept 1836 - Peter - Godfather John Kingston, Godmother Catherine Neill 17 Feb 1839 - Felix - Godfather Daniel Donovan, Godmother Elizabeth Neill 1 Dec 1840 - Catherine - Godfather Cornelius McCarthy, Godmother Joan Leary 14 May 1842 - John - Godfather Felix Neill, Godmother Margaret Hennigan 28 Jan 1844 - Patrick - Godfather John Callagher, Godmother Ann Callagher 5 Oct 1845 - Ellen (AKA Honora) - Godfather Jimmy Walsh, Godmother Ann Callagher 5 Dec 1846 - James (Edward)(2) - Godfather John Walsh, Godmother Mary Donovan - HAD DESCENDANTS 14 Dec 1850 - Michael - Godfather Jerry Desmond, Godmother Ellen Callagher - HAD DESCENDANTS
Michael and James were the only children to have descendants.
Patrick and Michael left NYC 1877 and settled in Akron Ohio - Michael founding the O'Neil's Department store and later with his son William The General Tire Company. They are both buried In Akron. The parents and other children are all buried in Calvary Cemetery NYC Section 4, Range 15, Plot D, Graves 2 & 3 - except James(2)!
James Edward O'Neil(2) married Hannah Angela Ames 30th April 1873 at St Teresa's Church, Henry Street NYC - brother Felix was witness. A year later... James Edward O'Neil(3) born Feb 21st 1874 at 96 Bergen Street Brooklyn NYC. Father - James Edward O'Neil(2) (bIRE) Mother - Hannah Angela O'Neil nee Ames (bNY). Father Norman Ames b1828-30 Vermont/Conncticut/NY? Mother Mary Beechinor b1831 Ireland
From 1877 - 1882 James(2) was living at 434 E13th Street with a brief spell in Akron (possibly 6 months maximum in 1880). Confirmed by Census, City Directory and probate details of brother Felix who died 1880. It appears though that he has separated from Hannah as he is also on the 1880 NYC census at the E13th Street address this time married to a Mary. His son James(3) is living with the 3 aunts at 113 E12th Street. Hannah is listed with her mother elswehere in NYC. From 1883 - 1891 James(2) is listed at 307 Madison Street and then 1892 - 1893 there is Mary wid James - so James(2) has died.
So what about James(3)?
He appears to have resided in NYC 1874 - 1890 and then in Akron Ohio 1890-1892. The Akron connection is with his uncle Michael and is confirmed by city directories and Michael's own affadavit in the above mentioned 1916 probate to which Michael was executor. Michael states that he heard reports of James(3) from time to time and that he travelled and worked in the transportation of cattle to and from various ports in the US to UK and that he never maintained a permanent address for very long. Between 1892 and 1905 I have no actual address for him - only ships manifests showing his movements in the transportation of cattle. On the 21st Dec 1905 I have an address on a manifest of 248 E84th Street NYC which was his mother's cousin's address. A few more manifests (no addresses) in 1906 and then...
James(3) marries - Mary McArdle 14th Feb 1907 Liverpool UK, had 2 children - James Edward(4) b1908 and Kathleen b1910. And then...
According to the 1916 probate the family in America know of James(3)'s marriage in England and that it was known that he deserted his wife Mary and that his last known whereabouts were in NYC in August 1910 at his aunt's (on his mother's side) Kate Carroll. It appear that the probate was quite complicated - Michael had a duty to find first his brother James(2) as next of kin but states that he was already dead, second James(3) as he would have been next of kin but despite searches and citations it appears that Mary's second letter was accepted as proof of death! So eventually James(3)'s right to next of kin passed to my grandfather James(4). All seems a bit pointless really as the aunt left a legacy to my grandfather and his sister and nothing to James(3)!
So that's it as far as the probate - no actual proof that the visitor existed apart from Mary's word in a letter, no proof that if he existed his information was genuine, no proof that the first letter in which this information was contained existed (only second letter admitted) and finally no death certificate for this period. I have checked all the provinces and no luck - the last one I did was Quebec's Drouin listing.
So fast forward to 1959 and one of MY aunts is in correspondence with one of Michael's sons Cyril who mentions his brother William remembering Jimmie staying with them in Akron and also that part of his schooling was had in Canada. I think this was prior to his staying in Akron 1890-92 but I have no idea why this Canada connection. My only hunch is that his mother Hannah had some connection - did she re-marry after 1880 - did James(3) re-marry in Canada and if so do these details link in to anybody else's research?
Finally family names: O'Neil, Ames, Beechinor, Dickers, Carroll.
Having so much information it is bewildering that I cannot find actual confirmation as to the deaths of my GGGrandfather James(2) and his son my GGrandfather James(2) - I have all other records except these!!!