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Ellen Starr born c. 1841 in Baltimore

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Ellen Starr born c. 1841 in Baltimore

Posted: 12 Jan 2013 4:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 12 Jan 2013 4:31PM GMT
Surnames: Booth, Starr, Flynn, Flin, Turner, Harrison, Treakle, Bartlett
Hi all!

I am looking for information on an Ellen “Ella” Starr born in the 1840's in Baltimore, Maryland, who was the mistress of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. My good friend is interested in information on her and I'll supply all of what I know about her:

Her mother was Mrs. Ellen Flynn (“Elinn Flin”) Starr who married John Starr in Baltimore on July 5, 1831. John Starr passed away in May of 1839, leaving Mrs. Starr with two children, John W. and Mary Jane.

However sometime in the early 1840's Mrs. Starr gave birth to another child, a girl, whose father is unknown, and this is the Ellen Starr I seek.

Young Ellen Starr appears in the 1850 census. She is listed as being about nine years old and living in Baltimore in the same house as her half-sister. Although the dates are not know, she is said to have lived in Petersburg and Richmond before apparently moving back to Baltimore by 1864.

Both Mrs. Starr and (later) Ellen's half-sister, Mary Jane (also known as “Mary C. Starr,” “Ann E. Starr” and “Mollie Turner”), appear to have supported themselves through prostitution or running bawdy houses. In the late 1850's Mrs. Starr began to ran a bawdy house in Washington D.C. By 1862 her daughter Mary Jane appeared to be running it.

By 1864 Ellen Starr the younger had met and become involved with actor John Wilkes Booth for several years. Wilkes Booth had her moved to Washington DC from Baltimore on December 12, 1864 and installed her at her half-sister's bawdy house.

On April 15, 1865, the morning after John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, Ellen Starr tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide using chloroform. She was arrested for her connection to Wilkes Booth and gave a statement to police later the same day on which she signs her name as “Nellie Starr,” “Ella Starr,” “Fannie Harrison.” Ellen was subpoenaed and called to the Arsenal on three separate occasions during the trial of the conspirators but she was never put on the witness stand.

After the tragic events of 1865, Ellen Starr disappears from history. The last confirmed reference to her comes from 1888 when her mother deeded a lot in a Baltimore cemetery to her daughter, indicating that Ellen “Ella” Starr was still alive at that time.

Then she disappears.

Her sister Mary Jane (called Ann on the marriage certificate) married and later divorced a Henry Treakle, and she had a daughter by Henry named Mary Virginia Treakle who married a Giles Bartlett in Huron, Ohio, in 1873, and had two children.

Does anyone have ANY information on what happened to this woman?

(Some claim that Ella had a baby girl in 1865 named Mary Louise Turner by a man named John Byron Wilkes; this John Byron Wilkes named “Ella Turner” and “the heir of my natural body, Mary Louise Turner” as beneficiaries in his will. However there is no proof that Ella ever even met John Byron Wilkes nor is there a birth record for a “Mary Louise Turner.” Another claim is that an “Ella Starr Turner” who “married John Byron Wilkes” died June 26, 1905 in Tennessee. There are no public records that can prove any of these claims. It is generally assumed that Mr. Byron Wilkes was a “John Wilkes Booth imposter” as the real John Wilkes was killed on April 26, 1865, 12 days after the assassination. In 1884 a young actress named “Miss Ella Starr” performed in New York; she has also been mistaken for our Ellen Starr who would have been older by the 1880's.)

Thank you!

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