A Little About Laura and Her 1857 Album Quilt


I've had a pretty lousy day today. Seemed like everything went wrong so I decided to pull out The 1857 Album Quilt and look over the January blocks again.
1857 Album Quilt There are signatures like this one that simply reads "Eddy". I don't think I'll be able to find much information on it but I'll do my best.

IMG_5866 Our central block tells a great deal of the quilts story. Made by the friends of Laura R. Ackerman.
Laura was born in Kings, New York (which is now Brooklyn) on October 3 1840. By the age of 10 she was living in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and married Alfred (F or S) Griffiths on June 17 1858. She was just 17 years old. Because the quilt was made in 1857 I believe it was made for her wedding.
By 1880 she was back on the east coast living in New Barbadoes Township, Bergen, New Jersey which is now included in the city of Hackensack. Her husband was employed as a book publisher. She had five children, all boys - John (1859), William (1861), Harold (1865), George (1867) and Alfred (1871). Alfred died as an infant at 8 months of age in 1872 and Laura herself passed away at the age of 40 in 1880.

IMG_5863 This block bears the signature John J Griffiths. I believe the block is from Laura's husband's family. Alfred has an uncle John J Griffiths who was born in 1807 and married at the time the blocks were made. They lived in Middletown, NY so maybe some of the blocks were sent back and forth by mail.


IMG_5865 I'm not finding anything on S VanTassel but hopefully the name will come up as I continue to research others.

Four Centuries of Quilts January prize If you didn't see it in the newsletter, the winner of the prize for January is Janny from the Netherlands! Congratulations Janny!

That's it for today. I'm off to do a little stitching and pick out 4 blocks for The 1857 Quilt and a prize for the month of February. It's right around the corner! Be sure to stop by tomorrow to get another Tuesday Treasure.

1857 Album Quilt - Blocks 1 - 2 - 3

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13 Responses to “A Little About Laura and Her 1857 Album Quilt”

  1. Lori D January 25, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    Very interesting!! Love seeing the super duper close ups!

  2. Fiona January 26, 2016 at 9:36 am #

    Hello Gay

    Many thanks for the back ground story about Laura. I always enjoy reading about the history and family/social history of the quilts I reproduce. It brings the quilt alive for me and enables me to understand more about the why’s and what’s behind the blocks – the meanings and what they represent. Sadly, Laura died relatively young, I wonder what her death certificate says.

    My three January blocks are done, so I am looking forward to prepping and stitching February’s.

  3. Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow January 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    I just received the background fabric and am excited to stitch the first three blocks. It was so interesting to read this and see the closeups. For some reason, while I can copy other things….it’s not my mouse, I can’t copy the code for the button. The option to copy won’t show up; weird! 🙂

  4. Robin January 26, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    Thanks for the sharing the history of this quilt. Knowing it makes the quilt come alive.

  5. Gay January 30, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    I wonder about Laura’s early death too. I’m going to try to get a copy of her death certificate. The last quilter I researched who passed away at a young age was Jane Wurzburg and I was shocked to find the cause of death listed as suicide. Let’s hope Laura’s isn’t that grim.

  6. Sandy R. February 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

    I love the history that you have found about the quilt and the people. Are you able to search on Ancestry? Thanks for all you give us.

  7. Gay February 1, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

    So far I’ve searched using Ancestry and Google. Those sites lead me in other directions like grave indexes, census records, church records, etc. If someone has a suggestion of other places to research please let me know. It seems more difficult when the person is from another state. Here in Grand Rapids when I researched the Wurzburg family I was able to learn a great deal at the local library through newspapers and city records.

  8. Judy McKinney February 1, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

    I love this quilt and cannot wait to see it through to the end. I have cut out all of my 256 melon pieces and plan to take them with me on vacation and prepare them using the spray starch method. Thank you for this wonderful quilt pattern!

  9. Pattye Kent February 16, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    I just love this quilt. It is a joy to work on and I enjoy your information on each block.
    Thank you

  10. Linda Knight February 18, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

    Friendship quilts are a lot of fun to make. I have taken part in making 2 so far in my lifetime. My very first one was when I was a teenager and one of our neighbor’s lost their home to fire. Everyone in the neighborhood, hand embroidered a square of a specific size, and then one certain person in the neighborhood was in charge of sewing it all together and having it quilted and bound. The second one was for an older friend of mine, she wanted all of her friends to embroidery squares representing our families for her. She provided the squares for us and then she put the quilt together with black, so it was all in black in white except for the color on the white squares. She won 3rd place with it during the local Annual Rodeo Days during Labor Day weekend.

  11. MarilynH March 1, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

    Gay, I am a fellow Grand Rapidian, and and a veteran genealogist. Do you need help?

    Cornelius VanTassel and his wife Sarah Ann Payne originated in New York, also lived in LaPorte County, Indiana (as did the DeClarke family) , and in Rock County, Wisconsin.

    Sarah was born in Ontario. She is the “S Van Tassel”.

    Cornelius VanTassel

    Birth: 18 Aug 1816 – Onondaga, USA
    Death: 31 Jan 1891 – Bradford, Rock, Wisconsin, USA
    Marriage: 10 Apr 1843 – Rolling Prairie, La Porte, Indiana, United States
    Spouse: Sarah Ann Payne
    The above from the “paddock family tree” on Ancestry.com.

    I found a Van Tassel-Griffeth connection, but it didn’t pan out.

  12. MarilynH March 1, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    John Jay Griffith’s wife, Margaret Polhamus’ mother’s name was Martha De Clark!
    Laura Sckerman’s mother’s name was Hannah Jersey. Her mother was Mary DeClark!
    I think we have some connections here. Have you started making a tree for this family yet?

    The above information from: Griffeths-Herne Family Tree on Ancestry.com. http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/48637136/family?cfpid=12915369900

  13. Allison March 3, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    “Eddy” is likely a nickname for Alfred.
    I enjoy your work.

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