We all have family stories passed down by relatives. Here are some guidelines to verify the stories.
1) Write the story down so you can examine the details.
2) Check to see if the details fit with chronology.
3) Look for records that might help to confirm/deny the story.
4) Consult local histories and biographies. A version of your tale might be recorded.
5) Talk to other family members, if possible.
6) Post queries on message boards.
7) Consult with historians familiar with the time period.
Some you may confirm, some not. Remember, there's an element of truth in most of the family lore. You just have to find it.