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Re: Maggie Farrell, a church organist in Waterbury, CT
Posted by: David Farrell (ID *****8320) Date: January 04, 2012 at 05:01:30
In Reply to: Re: Maggie Farrell, a church organist in Waterbury, CT by Kathryn Hagel of 1134

Thank you for your response, Kate,

I did a lot of research over the last 10 days and I got very lucky with the information that I found in some of the old Connecticut newspapers regarding the whereabouts and the events in the lives of this Farrell family.
The mother, Mary Tynan Farrell died on May 5, 1887 in Waterbury, CT. In 1888--Patrick Farrell, then a widower--moved to New Haven and lived with his daughter, Ellen, who was married to a grocer named William H. Dennis. Patrick lived there for only a short while and then moved in with his daughter, Mary Ann, who was married to a carpenter named James J. McDonald in Ansonia, CT. Patrick Farrell died at age 67 after falling down stairs at Mary Ann's home on December 20, 1891 according to the Hartford Courant.
According to the New Haven Register, William H. Dennis tripped on a rug and died from head injuries on August 6, 1892. Shortly after William's death, Maggie Farrell removed herself from Waterbury and lived with her sister Ellen for the next two years in New Haven. Maggie relocated to Brooklyn sometime in 1894, where she ran a voice culture studio. Maggie took ill with what was termed "brain fever" in 1896. She lived out her final days at her sister Mary Ann's home in Ansonia. Margaret "Maggie" Farrell died on November 6, 1896 in Ansonia, CT.
The most interesting thing that I discovered in my research concerns Mary Ann Farrell McDonald's son Joseph McDonald. Joseph adopted the name J Farrell MacDonald and he became a very successful movie actor appearing in over 300 films between the years 1915 and 1952.
I guess sometimes we hit pay dirt in the research of our ancestors. All the folks mentioned above are related to me.

Whenever I see those long lists of residents living at the same address, I usually refer to those situations as "flop houses". The boarding houses in the 1850 census for Waterbury has some lists of residences that take up half a page. I often find that some of these boarders marry one another or they marry the head of household's family members. William H. Dennis boarded at Patrick Farrell's residence on 56 Scovill Street in Waterbury according to the 1870 city directories. He later married Patrick Farrell's daughter, Ellen, sometime in the mid 1870s.

Happy New Years !!!

Dave Farrell

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