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.

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Edit
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I've fixed the link to the quilt article.

Posted by SursumCorda on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 7:06 am

Linda - This is excellent! Is there a picture posted on one of your entries? Eric

Posted by Eric on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm

About five years ago, I did a genealogical search of a signature quilt done in 1849/50 in the collection of the Falmouth Historical Society (MA).
The women were related to at least one other signer and made this quilt for a departing reverend. The quilt is included in the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation book. It was fun doing.

Posted by Muriel Locklin on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm

It's wonderful to hear about a family heirloom that was kept in the family all those years. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Deb Stevens on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I would love a PDF copy of the book. I am a descendant of Phoebe (Scovil) Cole b: 1736 and married Marcus Cole b: 1734. Phoebe and Marcus lived in East Hampton [Chatham] CT.

Phoebe is a descendant of Arthur Scovill b:1635 in England and d: 1706 in Middletown CT.

Bailey, Johnson, Harris, Brainerd, and Smith are among the family names.

Posted by Pamela Buchan on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm

And in some sort of recursive dream, Phoebe's Quilt in the News is also in the news, in the NEHGS newsletter, the Weekly Genealogist. :) Welcome, anyone who comes here from there!

Posted by SursumCorda on Friday, May 06, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I would love of PDF copy of Phoebe's quilt. I am a descendant of Didymus Johnson. He is my 2nd great grandfather. I have been trying to find out more about him. I was in Haddam a year ago. I wish I could have seen the quilt in April. Will it be shown at another time.

Posted by Sharen Thueson on Sunday, August 07, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Thanks for writing, Sharen. Check your e-mail for a copy.

Posted by SursumCorda on Friday, August 19, 2011 at 9:56 am

Thanks, Eric. There's a small picture of the whole quilt here. If you'd like, I'll send you a pdf of the book, with lots of pictures.

Posted by SursumCorda on Sunday, May 05, 2019 at 11:27 pm
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