Quilt circa 1870
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QUILT DONATED BY ROLAND
The quilt was examined
during NH Quilt Documentation Days in October of 1990. In part,
here is what they wrote in their report.
History: Quilt was
made in Epsom-Northwood, NH in early 19th Century. Quilt maker
was Rosilla Heath Hall. She was born in Corinth, Vermont and died
in Epsom, NH. Occupation of quiltmaker: homemaker, poet, writer
and artist. Church affiliation: Freewill Baptist. Husband's name
was Charles Hall. Parent's name: Heath. Nationality: American.
Quilt was signed. Owner received quilt when grandmother. Olive
Hall died. Quilt was in the family of Roland Garland. Received
quilt in 1985 at Portsmouth, NH. Previous owners: Olive Hall and
Pattern name: Used
by owner, Diamonds. Brackman: #141E (portion of it). Diamonds
1 patch made in block.
Quilt type: Pieced block-all over. 9 diamonds in block. Friendship.
Dimensions: Overall 67" x 81". Each diamond 2 ½
x 4 ¼.
Condition: Moderate use.
Fabric; Quilt top Manufactured. New. Scraps.
Type of Print: Plains (Solid), plaid, striped, checked, flowered,
Fabric Content: Cotton
Color: red, brown, dark look
Set: Hand, straight
Thread: Tied with crochet cotton. Red and blue.
Backing: 63 pieces. Fabric: plain, plaid, striped. Cotton. Handsewn.
Back is actually a sample (?) quilt blocks.
Batting: Cotton (no seeds). Regular.
Binding: Both hand an machine. Straight. Color: navy, dark red,
white. Width: ¼". Corners: rounded. Cotton.
Quilting: Tied. Pattern: diamond. Crochet cotton ties.
Date and comments: Quilt inside appears to be tied. 1895.
The report only mentions
a couple of the names on the quilt, and looking more closely,
with the advantage of recognizing and being able to place some
of the names, that the 1895 date is off by some 25 years. Using
a magnifying glass, as some of the names are faded, not to mention
small, these appear to be the names on the quilt.
L (?) Bickford
Mrs. M. Hill
Mrs. P. Meserve
A. (S or L) Morrill
J. (S or L) Morrill
M.M. Osgood ?
Mrs. B. Swain
(? Tag pinned to quilt)
Researching the names
reveals that the quilt had strong ties to the SWAIN family. Jonathan
Blake Swain was born in Northwood, April 9, 1799. He married Fe.
26, 1822, Martha Shepard Johnson [M.S. Swain], born in
Epping, New Hampshire. Their children included:
Olive Jane Swain [O.J.
Edmunds], born in 1824, married William Henry Edmunds. At
least two children, Martha O., who married John F. Sullivan; William
A. (also seen H.) who married Susan M. Philbrick of Epsom, daughter
of David Morrill and Sarah A. (Stearns) Philbrick.
Jeremiah Johnson Swain,
born Nov. 28, 1826 in Northwood, married in 1848, Hannah E. Furber
Elbridge Lyman Swain, born in Northwood August 15, 1829, married
May 1858 in Chichester, Hannah Plumer Cilley [H.P. Swain],
daughter of Samuel P. and Hannah W. (Critchett) Cilley [H.W.
Cilley]. He died during the Civil War in 1863 and Hannah married
second in 1871, Charles Augustus Steele. She might also be the
signer of [(Mrs. ?) E. L. Swain]. Since her patch is signed
as still using the married name Swain, and was not married yet
to Charles A. Steele, the quilt can be dated to at least 1870.
John Lewis Swain was born in Northwood February 5, 1832 and married
May 9, 1854, Susan G. Hodgdon [S.G. Swain].
Martha Ann Swain [M.A.
Towle] was born December 30, 1834 in Northwood and married
in Concord, November 3, 1852, Benjamin Franklin Towle. She may
also be the [Mrs. B. Swain].
Emeline Amanda Swain,
born Dec. 19, 1841, died unmarried March 13, 1881.
Martha Shepard (Johnson)
Swain, wife of Jonathan Blake Swain, had a sister Nancy F. Johnson
who married Benjamin Bickford of Epsom in 1865, and might account
for the [N.T. (mistaken for F?) Johnson]. This would put
the date of the quilt before February 1865.
Associated with the
Swain family is the family of Robey Marston Towle, whose son Benjamin
F., married Martha Ann Swain. Benjamin' sister, Mary Abigail Towle
[M.A. Moses], married Mark Sherburne Moses who died in 1865,
and she married second October 29, 1868, Rev. George Smith. This
would push the date of the quilt to 1868.
Another family connection
is the Cilley family. Samuel P. Cilley and his wife Hannah W.'s
daughter Hannah P. Cilley married Elbridge L. Swain. Her father
Samuel had a brother Daniel Thomas Cilley who married Lydia Ann
Babb [L.A. Cilley]. They had two children; Luella J. [L.J.
Cilley], born 1860, and Annie Lydia, born 1865. Lydia Ann
(Babb) Cilley was the daughter of John and Salome (Rand) Babb.
Salome had a sister Martha E. (Rand) who married John C. Hall
and may be the [M. Hall] on the quilt.
It would appear as
though the Meserve family also contributed to the quilt. Frost
Meserve married in 1826, Priscilla Nute, and is likely the [Mrs.
P Meserve] on the quilt. She died in 1873. Their son Ira married
Arvilla A. Emerson, who may be the [A. A. Emerson] on the
The only local Lancaster
family is that of Daniel F. Lancaster who married in 1843 Emmeline
(Wallace) Lancaster, daughter of Jacob True and Rachel (Fogg)
Wallace, and may be the [E. M. Lancaster] on the quilt.
The rest of the names
The quilt was donated
to the Historical Association about 2005 from Mr. and Mrs. Roland
Garland of Center Harbor, descendants of Rosilla Heath Hall.