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Garland Quilt circa 1870


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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 ancestors.

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.
Construction: Hand
Condition: Moderate use.
Fabric; Quilt top Manufactured. New. Scraps.
Type of Print: Plains (Solid), plaid, striped, checked, flowered, geometric.
Fabric Content: Cotton
Color: red, brown, dark look
Set: Hand, straight
Thread: Tied with crochet cotton. Red and blue.
Edging: Straight.
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
H.W. Cilley
L.A. Cilley
L.J. Cilley
L.A. Dow
O.J. Edmunds
A.A. Emerson
Anna G___
M. Hall
Judith Hill
Mrs. M. Hill
N.T. Johnson
E.M. Lancaster
Mrs. P. Meserve
A. (S or L) Morrill
J. (S or L) Morrill
M.A. Moses
M.M. Osgood ?
Mrs. B. Swain
E.L. Swain
H.P. Swain
M.S. Swain
S.G. Swain
A.L. Towle
M.A. Towle
(? 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 of Alton.

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 quilt.

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 remain unidentified.

The quilt was donated to the Historical Association about 2005 from Mr. and Mrs. Roland Garland of Center Harbor, descendants of Rosilla Heath Hall.