Barbara J Starmans
  • Extraordinary Rape at the Stepney Toll House On the evening of 27 July 1827, 23-year-old Susannah Poole left her sister’s house at 3 Caroline Street near Commercial Road at about quarter to ten. Susannah had been living with her sister, Ann Elizabeth Parker, for about five months, ever since leaving the service of her last employer in Hackney. That night, Susannah had […] No responses 12 min read April 8, 2018
  • Pedlars Tinkers and Hawkers From the feather man who went from town to town, cleaning bedding made of feathers, to the cat-meat men who fed the felines of London, to the rag and bone men who were some of the first recyclers, it was an eclectic group of people who made their living as pedlars, tinkers and hawkers in […] No responses 13 min read March 18, 2018
  • The Mysterious Christmas Card from the Isle of Wight Tucked away in Tyler Jacques’ family memorabilia was a yellowed Christmas card from the Isle of Wight dated 1932. The card was from Mr and Mrs H L Williams and had an embossed address of 75 Church Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight in the bottom left-hand corner but no one in the family knew who […] No responses 28 min read February 20, 2018
  • Death in the Time of Cholera Symptoms of Cholera: thirst, sunken features, blueness in the extremities, and rice watered stools. What is generally considered the first cholera pandemic began in Bengal in about 1816, spreading through India, China and Indonesia through the next decade. In 1831, a second pandemic of cholera began in Russia and then spread throughout Europe. In 1832, it […] 7 responses 23 min read November 5, 2017
  • Wanted in Waterford The O’Hare family lived in Waterford City, a town built on the bank of the Suir River, in the south-east of Ireland. Michael and Mary O’Hare had four known children. Cornelius was the oldest, born in about 1847 and was said to have a murderous temper although he stood only 5 feet 5-1/2 inches tall. […] No responses 30 min read October 1, 2017
  • Murderer Weds Victim’s Daughter On the afternoon of Sunday, November 24, 1895, in a jealous rage, William Royce shot his former lover, Nellie Patton, killing her with two shots. Nellie, a divorcee who had recently left Royce for a bartender by the name of Walsh, was living in a house of assignation in Sioux City run by Billy Nead. […] One response 8 min read August 20, 2017
  • The Past and the Present What is perhaps the biggest challenge for social historians is to wrap our heads around the continuum of time: around the past and the present. We study the past even as we live in the present and we struggle to imagine what it was like when our ancestors walked the earth. Think about that for […] 4 responses 13 min read August 7, 2017
  • An Imaginary Conversation with my Great-Great-Grandfather Having recently discovered the secret to mind-travelling back through time, I’ve journeyed to Sheffield to have an imaginary conversation with my great-great-grandfather. Today is Sunday, 2 April 1871 and I’m sitting in the kitchen at the Don Brewery Yard House in Sheffield with John Blanchard Savage and his wife, Elizabeth. The house is located at the junction of […] No responses 10 min read July 2, 2017
  • Breach of Promise Julia McEvers Julia McEvers was the youngest child of Mary Frances Bourke and John Francis McEvers, a Doctor of Medicine of Camden Place in the City of Cork. Julia was baptised on 19 October 1856 at St Mary’s Church in Cork. Her mother passed away not long after she was born and she was raised by her […] No responses 15 min read June 4, 2017
  • CSI – The Prologue Journey back only a short time in history, when esteemed judges and assembled juries had only the testimony of witnesses and sometimes the coerced confessions of the accused to rely on, and there can be little doubt that every now and then innocent parties were executed, and the guilty went free. These were the days […] No responses 15 min read May 21, 2017