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Welcome to: "History Comes to Life on a Quilt"

From 2015-2018, I spent a good deal of time researching a name-inscribed quilt that was sent to me for repairs. The final result was a homecoming exhibit and commemorative events in Melrose, MA, the town where the quilt was made way back in 1897-98.

quilt on exhibit


descendants

All along, I was blogging about the process and the local history that was uncovered, plus more photos and lots of stories.

Part 1 describes the quilt and the initial research. 
researching

Part 2 details how I narrowed down the dates, and relates some of the interesting family stories I began finding.
Weeks and Orcutt

Part 3 tells the story of the Phinney, Dyer, and Hersey families. 

Part 4 has general observations on life in the late 1890s.

Part 5 sums up my initial research.

Part 6 shares the first information from librarians and historians in Melrose.
History of Melrose

I wrote a little aside about the fun of being able to look at original records online.

And, since the quilt did initially come to me for repair, and I did eventually stop reading census forms and do the repair work, and wrote up the techniques and choices involved. 
repair

And then I went back to the research, and continued to find lots of great information.
Sarah M. Lavender

Before the events, a summary of all of the above activity, and some wonderful old photos submitted by family members.
family photos

After the events, I described the homecoming experience and the exhibits, and wrote about the little quilt I made that was inspired by the historical quilt. 

And finally, here are summaries of the data.

List of names on the quilt - Includes names as written and more complete names when found

Census records closest to 1895-1900 - Household members, ages, professions, stories

Census data used to date the quilt

Summation of interesting facts and stories

Melrose house walk - In case you visit Melrose and want to look for houses where these people lived

Melrose age chart - Ages from census records closest to 1895-1900

 

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