Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for Genealogists

The family historian in your life will enjoy these ideas to organize their family tree, make their next research trip more productive, or show off their love of investigating the past! A membership to the New England Historic Genealogical Society – definitely worth visiting during the year, but even if you don’t live nearby they have awesome digital collections that they are always adding new databases to! Show off your love of books with this Book Nerd enamel pin. Genealogists will love this fascinating new biography about the lives of the five victims of Jack the Ripper, using a wonderful … Continue reading Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for Genealogists

Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for History Buffs

Here’s a few gift ideas for your favorite history buff to read, watch, wear, and listen to! These Edgar Allan Poe socks are comfy and weird – may your feet be cold nevermore! The Trial of Lizzie Borden is a new fascinating look at the murder trial of Lizzie Borden, who took an ax… For a fantastic binge-watch, you should absolutely check out the DVD box set of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 1-3 which is a hilarious and fun show featuring the glamourous private detective Miss Phryne Fisher and her escapades across 1920s Australia. This book The Suspicions of … Continue reading Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for History Buffs

Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for Family Archivists

The family archivist has gathered a collection of photographs, documents, and artifacts that tell the fascinating tale of your family’s past – here’s some gift ideas to help get all of those treasures organized! Treat your heirloom ornaments to a special upgrade this season and invest in an archival quality storage box to safeguard your holiday ornaments to pass down to future generations. Lineco Archival Divided Ornament Storage Box Denise May Levenick’s excellent How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records is a great guide to how to organize those boxes of family … Continue reading Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts for Family Archivists

The Sturtevant Triple Murder: Part Two: News Spreads Like Wildfire

  In 1856, a telegraph line was constructed along the Fall River Railroad track from Myrick’s Station in Berkley, Massachusetts to Boston, passing through Bridgewater.  [Kingman, History of North Bridgewater, p. 347] Following the discovery of the Sturtevant murders on Monday, February 16th, someone ran to the Bridgewater telegraph office and sent a telegraph far and wide to newspapers across the nation. On Tuesday morning,  February 17th, before any arrests had been made in the case,  newspapers in Vermont, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, Nashville, Iowa, Michigan, Los Angeles, and more ran the horrific details of the “Triple Tragedy”. … Continue reading The Sturtevant Triple Murder: Part Two: News Spreads Like Wildfire

Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts For Murderinos

Here are are a few ideas to give some spooky chills, cozy reading, and DNA investigation to the favorite true-crime afficiando in your life! Murderinos everywhere can curl up with the following gifts (but maybe keep the lights on…) A must-have for every Georgia and Karen fan. Their book Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide is a hilarious behind the scenes of their successful podcast, with fascinating autobiographical tales that are both funny and sobering. Pour your favorite beverage into this Stay Sexy Don’t Get Murdered Wine Tumbler. Journalist Michelle McNamara’s beautiful I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, about … Continue reading Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts For Murderinos

The Sturtevant Triple Murder: Part One: A Ghastly Discovery

On a cold winter morning on Monday, February 16, 1874, 41 year old shoemaker Stephen P. Lull cut through a path behind the Sturtevant house on Thompson St. in Halifax, Plymouth County, Massachusetts when he noticed an unusual shape in the field behind the house. As he came closer, he was horrified to discover the body of his neighbor, 69 year old Mary Buckley, lying face down on the ground “with her head beaten to a pumice”.  The murder weapon, a four foot long piece of wood, was found later that day several feet away from Mary’s body. Lull hurried … Continue reading The Sturtevant Triple Murder: Part One: A Ghastly Discovery

“Colossal Coward!”: Plymouth Protests the Compromise of 1850: Part One

In early 1850, tensions between the North and South regarding the issue of slavery had brought many politicians and American citizens to seriously consider dividing the Union. Kentucky Senator Henry Clay presented a series of bills known as the Compromise of 1850 which offered compromises between the free North and slave-owning south regarding newly acquired territory from the Mexican-American War. South Carolinian senator John C. Calhoun, on his deathbed, dictated his final Senate speech, read aloud in the Senate on 4 March 1850, in which he blasted the North and emphasized that compromise was unlikely. Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster, a … Continue reading “Colossal Coward!”: Plymouth Protests the Compromise of 1850: Part One

“Nobly Braving the Wild, Maddened Sea in Obedience to a Sacred Sympathy for the Helpless Stranger”: 1867 Shipwreck by Manomet, Plymouth, Mass.

In Massachusetts, the nor’easter season typically ends in March. But occasionally a rare late nor’easter occurs in April, bringing heavy rain, hurricane-force winds, and rough seas. On Wednesday, April 17, 1867, an “unparalleled April gale” occurred along the Atlantic ocean off Massachusetts. Four Manomet men died while attempting to rescue the crew of the schooner Charles H. Moller, which became stuck “outside the breakers” south of Manomet Point near Stage Point and Manomet Bluffs, and had been partially wrecked by the storm. Caught unawares by the storm, the Charles H. Moller came ashore mid-afternoon near Manomet Point, but due to … Continue reading “Nobly Braving the Wild, Maddened Sea in Obedience to a Sacred Sympathy for the Helpless Stranger”: 1867 Shipwreck by Manomet, Plymouth, Mass.

The Thomas Family: A 19th Century Multiracial Family of Middleborough and Carver, Mass.

On a cold December day in 1854, Baptist minister Josephus W. Horton performed the wedding of 19 year old Mary E. M. Pierce and 38 year old widow John Atwood Thomas. The couple’s nineteen-year age difference was not unusual for the era. What was unusual was the legality of their marriage itself. Only a decade previously, their marriage would have been illegal in Massachusetts. But in 1843, the state repealed a law from 1705 which banned interracial marriage. John A. Thomas was white. Mary E. M. Pierce was multiracial: black, white, and Native American. After a century of Massachusetts’ anti-miscegenation law, … Continue reading The Thomas Family: A 19th Century Multiracial Family of Middleborough and Carver, Mass.

1882 Tragedy in Daniel Eason’s House – Augusta, Maine

On 13 November 1882, the Daily Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine) reported a terrible accident: “An eight year old daughter [Bessey Martha Eason] of Daniel Eason, colored, who resides on Prospect Street, in this city, was so horribly burned by her clothing being set on fire Saturday morning that she died yesterday. It seems that Mrs. [Sarah Jane] Eason had left her three children abed about half past 6 in the morning to go to Mrs. Russel’s, where she had been engaged to work. Mr. [Daniel] Eason, who went away earlier in the morning, was returning to the house in order … Continue reading 1882 Tragedy in Daniel Eason’s House – Augusta, Maine

Origins of the Quacum Sisters: Founding Mothers of Wilberforce Colony, Ontario

Sisters Vilana, Rosanna, and Salome Quacum were born at the turn of the 19th century on the south shore of Massachusetts, the daughters of a multiracial family with African, Mattakeeset (Massachuset) Indian, and Herring Pond (Wampanoag) Indian heritage. Although they had lived as free New England women, they each married husbands in the 1820s who were fugitive slaves. After spending several years in their hometown of Marshfield, Plymouth County, Massachusetts and Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, each of the married sisters made the decision to leave their extended family behind and become founding members of the Wilberforce Colony in Ontario, on … Continue reading Origins of the Quacum Sisters: Founding Mothers of Wilberforce Colony, Ontario

Thoreau’s Perfect Day in Lakeville, Mass.: Beautiful Assawompset Pond and a “Vexing” Encounter with Assawompset Indians: Part One

PART ONE:  A PROBLEMATIC THOREAU ON VACATION Today marks the 200th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s birthday. This talented, problematic writer was a study in contradictions. He was an elegant writer on the subject of the natural world, but prone to didactic lecturing on the subject of humanity. He was an avid student of history, especially Indian history, but he failed to reconcile his fictional and romantic image of Indians of the past with the realities of the contemporary Indians whom he met in Massachusetts and Maine during his lifetime. Below is a story about a favorite day of Thoreau’s … Continue reading Thoreau’s Perfect Day in Lakeville, Mass.: Beautiful Assawompset Pond and a “Vexing” Encounter with Assawompset Indians: Part One