Saturday, 4 August 2007

Jane Ann Matlack

Jane Ann Matlack was my mother's mother's father's mother. She was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania on 11th October in 1845 to Thomas and Eliza Matlack. Jane was the seventh child in the family, the first girl after six boys. Jane and all of her brothers lived to adulthood, and I imagine their childhood as a happy and healthy one, with plenty of fresh air, good food and positive opportunities.

Jane would have been spoiled by her brothers but as soon as she could keep up Jane was outside with the boys - climbing trees, building dams in the creek, hoeing the vegetable garden, bringing in firewood. Jane liked school, I reckon, was good at mathematics and history but hated writing essays.

Jane kept studying until she graduated from the local school. She stayed at home helping her mother keep house, welcoming the new sisters-in-law and the ever increasing band of nieces and nephews.

And then she met John Jacob McFarlan.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

One of my g-g-grandmothers did make a quilt. Mary McClelland Criswell made a red and green autograph quilt in 1852 for her parents Andrew Gibson Criswell and Alice Carlisle Criswell. This quilt is not in good condition, some of the fabrics have rotted away, but the signatures of family and friends are still completely legible after 150+ years.
The quilt is very large as you can see. When I decide to make a replica I think I will choose one block at a time without attemping to make the whole quilt. Look out Dear Janes!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Making a Start

Most people have two grandmothers, four great-grandmothers, and eight great-great-grandmothers. I have eight great-great-grandmothers and I wanted some way to get to know more about them and as a consequence know more about myself.
I'm not much of a writer but I am a quiltmaker. Instead of collecting information and then writing a family history, I thought I would do my research and make a quilt for each of these women that would reflect their lives and the social context they lived in. I would imagine that they were all quiltmakers too and I would 'recreate' their quilts.
I actually thought about this project about two years ago and very little has happened. I hope that blogging may help give me a push.

One of my g-g-grandmothers did make a quilt, more about that later.