Barbara J Starmans
  • 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 […] 2 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
  • 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