Barbara J Starmans
  • 10 Examples of Fake News from History This month, Facebook began prompting users in fourteen countries to read a guide on the fake news phenomenon, with a list of tips that included being sceptical about headlines and checking the source of the story. ‘False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust,’ Facebook’s Adam Mosseri […] No responses 15 min read May 7, 2017
  • Fraud, Murder and the Burial Club William Spratt, alias Constable, alias Spratty Watts, died on 11 June 1848 after being ill for some days. His half-sister, Mary May, was convicted of murdering him for the burial club money and hanged at the Essex County Gaol on Monday, 14 August 1848. The May Family In 1848, the May household in Wix, Essex consisted of Robert May, […] No responses 17 min read April 23, 2017
  • Crowds Flock to Sunnyside Beach in 1922 Crowds flocked to Sunnyside Beach in 1922 when the new park opened, lured by the modern new bathing pavilion and the miles of parklands, boardwalks and beaches near Humber Bay. The newly formed Toronto Harbour Commission reclaimed land by dredging the bottom of Lake Ontario and placing over 3 million cubic yards of fill along the […] No responses 12 min read April 9, 2017
  • Cyclone in the Indian Ocean The ship Pendragon, an iron vessel of 1278 tons register, was owned by Messrs MacDiarmid, Greenshields, and Co., of Drury-buildings, Drury-lane of Liverpool. On 9 February 1876, the Pendragon left Calcutta, bound for Havre, and about a month after leaving port, she encountered a cyclone in the Indian Ocean. During the storm, Captain Charles Symons was […] No responses 10 min read March 26, 2017
  • Sears Roebuck Mail Order Catalogue Long before the internet and online ordering, mail order catalogues were one of the only ways that the American rural population had to buy a variety of merchandise for themselves and their homes. Before the advent of mail order catalogues, people in isolated communities throughout the United States purchased from general stores, often from a […] 2 responses 11 min read March 12, 2017
  • Female Emigration to Australia 1833-1837 London Emigration Committee Between the years of 1833 and 1837, a total of fourteen ships sponsored by the London Emigration Committee departed from England and Ireland as part of a scheme to send female emigrants to Sydney, Hobart and Launceston Australia where young women of good character were said to be in high demand. About 4000 […] No responses 14 min read February 19, 2017
  • Tynewydd Colliery Flood of 1877 On Wednesday evening, 11 April 1877, as the miners were getting ready to leave the Tynewydd Colliery at the end of their shift, they heard the roar of rushing water. Although many managed to make it to the surface of the Greater Rhondda valley mine, after a head count, it was discovered that 14 men and […] No responses 19 min read February 5, 2017
  • Escaped from the Hulks Notorious robber Huffey White, alias Hufton White, alias Huffham White, alias Houghton White, alias William Evans, escaped from the hulks near Woolwich no less than three times before his luck finally ran out. This is his story. Hufton White Born in about 1778, White was a long-time criminal and was associated with a gang of robbers, housebreakers, pick-pockets, mail-robbers, […] No responses 18 min read January 22, 2017
  • 300 years ago in England Once upon a time, about 300 years ago, my British ancestors were farmers, living off the land, battling against nature to support their families through hard manual labour. Bolton-upon-Swale, Yorkshire My seventh great-grandparents Allan and Ann Layfield were farmers in the small village of Bolton-upon-Swale in the Richmondshire district of North Yorkshire. They married sometime around the […] No responses 19 min read January 8, 2017
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Christmas Eves of my childhood were spent down in my Nana’s basement apartment, curled up on the couch, watching ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens on the black and white television. The family would gather around, sipping hot cocoa and being warmed by the fire in the old-fashioned brick fireplace, its mantel festooned with ivy. […] No responses 11 min read December 25, 2016