Ever since I did a research deep-dive on my mysterious ancestor George Roderic McClellan (1848-1912), I have been curious to learn more about his time spent in Denver, Colorado in the 1870s. I had discovered that he was a co-owner … Continue reading How To Determine The Age of An Antique Steamer Trunk
When my father-in-law Chris last visited us, we shared a fun discovery about one of his ancestors: an incredible 1897 interview in Gardeners’ Chronicle with his great-grandfather William George Turner, who was the head gardener at The Rookery on Streatham … Continue reading William George Turner (1833-1904), Head Gardener of The Rookery, Streatham Common
A few years ago, I made a fun research discovery: this remarkable interview, transcribed below, with William George Turner, my husband’s great-great-grandfather, who was the head gardener at The Rookery on Streatham Common in England. [Read more about William George … Continue reading 1897 Interview with William George Turner, Head Gardener at The Rookery, Streatham Common
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.