Guide to the William B. Starbuck Papers, 1839-1902

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
William B. Starbuck Papers
Starbuck, William B., 1817-1906
Nantucket Historical Association
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the William B. Starbuck Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Gift of Mrs. Jay H. Gibbs (Acc. 1981.111 and 1983.111B); Susan and Robert Starbuck (Acc. RL2010.55); L. Dennis and Susan R. Shapiro (Acc. RL2009.59); Friends of the NHA (Acc. 1994.47.2, 1994.5.1, and 1994.46.3); and Richard C. Mack (Acc. RL2012.14). Folder 6 is from the Marie M. Coffin Collection.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Related Collections

  • MS144 Starbuck Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Starbuck family.
    • Starbuck, William B., 1818-1907.
  • Topical Term
    • Agriculture—Massachusetts—Nantucket—19th century.
    • Weather—Observations—Massachusetts—Nantucket—19th century.
  • Genre Term
    • Journals (Diaries).

Biographical Information

William B. Starbuck (1818-1907) was born to Josiah Starbuck and Nancy Barnard in Nantucket, Mass. He married Lydia Macy (1811-1899), daughter of Simeon Macy and Phebe Allen, in 1850. The couple had two children. Prior to living at 49 Orange Street, the family lived in the “Tea House” located on their farm in Quaise.

Starbuck worked during Nantucket’s whaling days as a merchant seaman, whaler, and sailmaker. Later, he worked as a tax collector, truss maker, and farmer. He is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Scope and Content

The William B. Starbuck papers include journals that highlight ships and voyages, poetry, farming, and notes that deal primarily with land and taxes for 1893. Journals also reflect William B. Starbuck’s activities as a farmer and as a tax collector; daily life; local events; marriages, births, and deaths of Nantucket residents; the weather; and family affairs.

Alternative Form of Material: Microform of genealogical records (SV-24/1) available (Reel 104).


Box 1 Folder 1 Papers associated with William B. Starbuck, 1890-1894
Box 1 Folder 2 Journal, 1839-1841, 1873
Box 1 Folder 3 Journal, 4 March 1841 – 26 July 1844
Box 1 Folder 4 Journal, 12 November 1851 – 6 December 1854
Box 1 Folder 5 Journal, 7 December 1854 – 2 June 1857
Box 2 Folder 6 Journal, 15 July 1870 – 20 January 1873
Box 2 Folder 7 Journal, 21 January 1873 – 26 June 1875
Box 2 Folder 8 Journal, 27 June 1875 – 8 October 1877
Box 2 Folder 9 Journal, 9 October 1877 – 29 March 1879
Box 3 Folder 10 Journal, 2 September 1883 – 31 January 1886
Box 3 Folder 11 Journal, 1 February 1886 – 28 October 1890
Box 3 Folder 12 Journal, 29 October 1890 – 23 July 1894
Box 3 Folder 13 Journal, 17 March 1899 – 9 December 1902
SV-24/1 Genealogical records, undated

Items Separated

  • Separated Volume (SV-24/1)

Processing Information

Processed by NHA staff. Finding aid by Abbie Minard and Amelia Holmes, July 2018. Finding aid by Abbie Minard and Amelia Holmes, July 2018, with additional description by Sarah Lerner in September 2018.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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