Imagine an ancestor of yours being asked to sign a quilt perhaps as a fund raiser for church, school, or other organization. Imagine the winner of that fund raiser raffle putting the quilt into storage, and his grandchildren discovering the quilt 110 years later while cleaning house.
Not much more is known about the quilt but in a nutshell, my cousins Nancy and Russel found the "Signature Quilt", and gave it to my sister Sharlene who enjoys sewing quilts. Sharlene shared the quilt with me. Like my cousins and my sister, I thought that the quilt should be shared not only with our family, but with other families who's "Signatures" appear on that quilt. But how does one share a fragile 100+ year old quilt with the families of the all 422 signatures on the quilt? This Photo Blog is our attempt to share the quilt with those families and others who might be interested. It is also an attempt to give thanks those who shared it with me, and hopefully to find out more about it and the folks who signed the quilt.
This signature quilt came to us via my grand parents Milton and Jessie (Cleland) Thompson. Exactly when and whom made the quilt is not yet known, but my current estimate is that it was made in late 1907 or early 1908 based on preliminary analysis of Jessie's sisters name on the quilt.
The quilt is constructed of 42 squares, 6 squares wide, by 7 squares in height. Each square is just under 12 inches, and contains on average 10 signatures each totaling 422 signatures. Many of the people included on the quilt lived in or around Delaware Township, Sanilac County Michigan where my great great grand parents, and their son cleared a farm from the wilderness about 3 miles northwest of Forestvile in 1863. Most of the names are from Forestville, Charleston, Minden City, Palms, and Deckerville area. There is also one quilt square labeled "Forester Michigan" apparently signed by proud residents of Forester Michigan!
To assist you to navigate the 40+ photographs associated with this Photo Blog, I have created a MAP and two lists showing which names appear on each square. This will allow you to find the name/signature on the quilt. Each square letter/number so that you can view a larger photograph of each quilt square. The quilt has six columns labeled A, B, C, D, E, and F, with seven rows 1-7 as shown in the following photograph.
For example, some of my ancestors can be found in square A2 as shown below:
How can you help?
Any information regarding the quilt would be interesting, but your input can also help to identify the date of the quilt was made. As an example, my grandmother's sister on square A4, Mrs William Pomella (Nellie Cleland) was married August 28, 1907. Their first child was born in 1908. Since no children appear in the square with them, late 1907 early 1908 is a potential candidate date.
In other squares, couples are listed with "and baby". Based on the names on the square, and knowing when your ancestors were born, as well as the other names present in squares, we may be able to confirm or reject the estimated candidate date. Since Jessie's name appears as Cleland, the quilt was obviously made prior to her marring my grandfather Milton Thompson. Those are the types of connections that you can bring from your families past. Of course any information that you may have regarding the quilt would be helpful AND interesting. Please help and provide input by clicking "Add Comments" below!
As you can see, this took some time to complete and in return for sharing it with you, I would appreciate that you provide comments, observations, stories about names, etc., anything that to learn more about the quilt. Please share your connections with the quilt by sending a public or private message by clicking on the "CONTACT" or "Add Comment" to the BLOG buttons on this page.
Quilt Square Links
Click on the Letter/Number below for desired Quilt Square
To see an alphabetical list of names on the on the quilt, clink this link: Quilt Names Alphabetical
To see a list of names appearing on each square on the on the quilt, clink this link: Quilt Names by Square