family register

In Bliss or Woe


This family register sampler, with its melancholy verse about the fleeting nature of life, was stitched in 1833 by Abigail Barnard. Although such samplers were typically part of the needlework education of schoolgirls, Abigail created this example at the age of twenty-seven to document the birth, marriage, and death dates of her parents and siblings.
family register, family record, samplers

Family Registers and Family Legends


Considered a genteel accomplishment, needlework was an important component of female education in colonial and federal America. Family register samplers,  such as this late 18th century example worked by twelve-year-old Alicia Lawrence (1787–1866) of Hartford, Connecticut, were frequently made during the later phase of girls’ needlework training, and were a popular way of documenting and preserving family histories.
sampler, family register, Alicia Lawrence, Charles Sheldon, Alice Adams, Nathan Hale, William Lawrence, embroidery, 18th century, needlework