Ellen O'Neaill, age 12
This excellent family record sampler is part of a highly regarded group from Charlestown, Massachusetts. All the samplers in this group share the three linked hearts, floral sprays and the little scene of house and memorial at the bottom. The top portion of this piece has two different styles of upper and lower case alphabets.
We think that Ellen changed her own birth date, making this a vanity sampler.
Size (W x H): 17 1/2 x 18 1/4 inches
Stitches: Cross, back, satin
Media: Silk on linen
Research confirms that the O'Neaill family arrived in Massachusetts circa 1838 emigrating from Ireland by way of Nova Scotia. It is believed that Ellen was born in 1828 in Ireland to Lawrence O'Neaill and Mary Power. Five siblings are depicted on this piece.
Interestingly, a page from the August 1850 U.S. Census lists the entire family except for daughter Nancy. However, the ages for the children are different than those that would apply if the dates from this sampler were used. The census page also indicates that Lawrence O'Neaill is a laborer. This census page is the only genealogical reference to any of the O'Neaills.
Lawrence O Naeill
While I with care my work pursue
And to my book my mind apply
I ll keep my teachers love in view
And guard my way with watchful eye
But most of all I ll mind that word
Which brings salvation from the Lord
Ellen A ONeaill born Nov 29 1830
Mary ONeaill born Dec 7 1830
Nancy ONeaill born March 16 1834
Michal ONeaill born Oct 8 1836
Thomas ONeaill born Aug 21 1838
Henry ONeaill born Oct 8 1840
Wrought by Ellen A ONeaill
Nov 18 1842 aged 12 years
Sacred to the memory of MON who died Dec 7 1837
(This sampler was added to the site on February 15, 2013)
A website member has graciously shared information on a sampler by Lucy Ann Williams (1830) that is from that same group of Charlestown samplers (see Photo #4). She has done extensive research and has located 8 samplers from that area, ours included.
Lucy was the youngest child of John and Abigail (Corey) Williams of Medford, MA, a town located very near Charlestown. They were the parents of 5 girls and 1 son. Lucy's father(John) died in 1828, two years before she stitched her sampler. Lucy was born 24 May 1816. She married, at age 18, to Joseph W. Glidden of Chelsa, Suffolk, MA. They were still in Charlestown in the 1840 U.S. Census with one daughter. No specific death dates for either Lucy or John or a record of any other children born to them has been found. Lucy Ann Williams sampler is pictured in Girlhood Embroidery, Vol. I by Betty Ring, p.79, fig.80, and is referenced in Samplers and SamplerMakers by Edmonds, p. 69, #4 as well as The Art of the Family-Genealogical Artifacts in New England by Simmons & Benes, p.277,#33.
A second member has shared information about Eliza Jane Nickerson, who was born on 2 Dec 1824, the eldest daughter of William Myrick Nickerson, and Eliza (Harding) Nickerson. She stitched her sampler when she was 13 years of age (1837). See photo #5. Her parents were married 01 Jul 1824 in Wellfleet, Barnstable, Massachusetts. Children of their marriage also included: William M. Nickerson, born 25 Dec 1826, died 13 Feb 1827; William M. Nickerson, born 04 Nov 1828; Heman Nickerson, born 12 Mar 1830, died 07Apr 1832; and Mary A. Nickerson, born 01 Jan 1836.
About 1841, Eliza Jane Nickerson married William Newcomb Atwood, son of William Newcomb Atwood and Polly Ryder Bush. He was born 06 Apr 1821, and died of phthisis (consumption) on 14 Jun 1876. He was a member of the Massachusetts Infantry, 12th Regiment, Co K 1861, and is listed as a lighthouse keeper in 1870. Their children include: Joseph Harding Atwood, born 05 Mar 1845; (mariner) Benjamin W. Atwood, born 07 Sep 1847. Records indicate that William married Sarah A. Clevery 08 Feb 1864, and had five additional children.