It's not the New York Times, or even the Hartfort Courant, but I'll thank the East Haddam-Haddam Patch for their article on the quilt show, and their mention of Phoebe's Quilt. (H/T PJS) As is true with most newspaper articles I've known the truth about, this one manages to tell gist of the story accurately while erring in the details.
One of the most interesting ... had to be Prudence Sloane’s quilt.
“I inherited a trunk from my mother, this was in the bottom of it,” Sloane said. The quilt contained the names of family ancestors stitched into it.
It turned out the quilt belonged to Phoebe (Burr) Scovil, Sloane’s first cousin four times removed. It was most likely a wedding present from friends and family around 1849. Sewn into each square section of the quilt was a different person’s name.
Sloane’s sister-in-law, Linda Wightman, who was very interested in the family’s genealogy, did research on all the names of the people on the quilt. Wightman even went to Boston to investigate the names in a genealogy library.
Wightman made a booklet and gave it to Sloane as a Christmas present with information on Phoebe and how each person sewn into the quilt was related to her.
The quilt actually belonged to Phoebe L. (Scovil) Bonfoey, who is, indeed, Prudence's first cousin four times removed (and my fourth cousin four times removed, for that matter). Phoebe (Burr) Scovil was her mother. The creation of the quilt was most likely around 1849, the year one of the signers died and one, who signed with her married name, got married. Phoebe herself married Horace A. Bonfoey in 1852.
To say that I "even went to Boston to investigate the names in a genealogy library" sounds rather pathetic unless you realize that I, unlike the quilt, don't live in Connecticut. In any case it's not something to be impressed about; whenever I make the (all too rare) visit to Boston, New York, Hartford, or other research hot spot, it's for a lot more than just the quilt. Most of my research for this project was done using the amazing resources available online. That's not to say I couldn't have walked to Boston in the time it took me to gather the information—not true, but at times it felt like it.
And, hey—they spelled my name right! I'm sure I have Prudence to thank for that.