UPDATE:  The Second Edition of Phoebe's Quilt, corrected and expanded, is now available.

altMy sister-in-law found it in a trunk: an old, handmade quilt. Each block was inscribed with a name, often a city, and sometimes a Bible verse. The cities and many of the surnames were familiar, but no name was identifiable as that of someone in the family. Who were these people? Whose quilt was it, and when was it made? And how did it end up in Prudence's trunk?

Far be it from me to resist a genealogical puzzle, especially when it can be turned into a Christmas present:  I would use my genealogical resources to decipher the quilt, and turn my research into a book to put under the tree.  Little did I know how much of my life this little project would consume; I'm certain the quilt itself was completed in less time.

Did I say completed?  I doubt I've ever used that word in a genealogical context unless accompanied by "not" or "never."  But Christmas will come whether or not we are ready, and thus I was saved from my perfectionist tendencies.  The project is as done as it is going to get, barring a second edition.

The owner of the quilt was Phoebe L. Scovil, the daughter of Sylvester and Phoebe (Burr) Scovil, who later married Horace Andrew Bonfoey.  It was made in Haddam, Connecticut, in approximately 1849.  The signers, with their full names—even if they married after the quilt was made—were (maiden names in parentheses):  Laura Jane (Prior) Baldwin, Eliza (Burr) Bonfoey, Susan Clarke Bonfoey, Anna Brainard, Clarissa (Thomas) Brainard, Aaron Burr, Amelia M. (Bonfoey) Burr, Elizabeth (Brainerd) Burr, Flora Betsey (Burr) Burr, Rebecca (Bulkley) Burr, Sarah (Johnson) Burr, Willoughby F. Burr, Hannah A. Cory, Louisa (Bailey) Dewey, Adeline F. (Cory) Elliot, Susan M. Flagg, Ann T. (Wright) Gardner, Amelia Bullock (Abrahams) Gay, William Gay, Nancy Smith (Brainerd) Guy, Clarissa (Loveland) Harris, Abba E. Holmes, Almira T. (Hubbard) Hubbard, Lucretia Hubbard, Thankful Hubbard, Mary Ann Hyde, Mary S. (Wright) Hyde, Elizabeth G. (Hyde) Kelsey, Esther Maria (Scovil) Leete, Jane W. Miller, Julia Miller, Phebe A. (Harris) Newton, Cynthia (----) Priest, Joanna Lane (Burr) Prior, Charlotte (Spencer) Redfield, Elnora F. (Bidwell) Roberts, Adalaide (Holmes) Robinson, Cynthia Scovil, Esther Maria (Burr) Scovil, Frances Louisa (Bonfoey) Scovil, Phoebe (Burr) Scovil, Phoebe (Spencer) Scovil, Sarah A. Scovil, Eliza Ann (Smith) Smith, Jane A. (Tryon) Smith, Susan Virginia (Scovil) Stone, Sarah (Burr) Thomas, Albertie Tryon, and Sarah Maria (Wilcox) Wilcox.

Genealogical discoveries are meant to be shared, so for all interested family members, and also because there may be others researching the people represented here, I've attached a pdf of the book:  Phoebe's Quilt.  I would be grateful to hear from anyone who knows more about the quilt signers, and would also be glad to hear from those who catch the mistakes which I know must have escaped our proofreading.  There's always that second edition....

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, December 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Edit
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Very cool!

Posted by Janet on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 6:31 am
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