Betsy Parkhurst

American Samplers

Betsy Parkhurst, age 13




Family Record samplers were very popular throughout New England during this period and Betsy has stitched a beautiful example. Her inscriptions include the documentation of the births and marriage of her parents, as well as the births of her two brothers.

Betsy has used subtle colours to great effect throughout her sampler. The floral pattern of the three-sided outer border is essentially duplicated on both sides, with some slight variations giving the vines a more free-formed appeal. Her use of white flowers on the tan linen makes them just pop. The relative large size of the flowers also adds dramatic impact. These outer vines meet at a delicate blue basket of flowers in the middle. The blue of this basket and the blue in the vase in the lower section provides an understated connection and your eye cannot help but bounce between the two motifs. The lower vase is surrounded by a strawberry vine in a softer tone of green than in most of the outer border, further removing emphasis from this section. Look closely and you will see the faded sawtooth inner border.

Under the family record is a double "bubble" formed from a delicate cartouche pattern of little stemmed flowers linked together. Betsy placed a popular verse of the time within the upper cartouche and her signature in the lower one. The black thread in both the text and in highlights of her little birds provides a wonderful contract to the more subtle greens and tans. Betsy was a very talented stitcher as is showcased by this elegant sampler.

Size (W x H): 21 x 16 1/4 inches

Stitches: Cross, hemstitch, satin, french knot, outline

Media: Silk on linen


Andrew Parkhurst, a farmer, married Betsy Buttrick who was from Pelham, New Hampshire. They had three children, all born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts: Silas (1808-1810), Amos (1812-1848) and Betsy (1806).

Betsy married Ephraim Spaulding/Spalding, a farmer, on 15 March 1837 in Chelmsford. They also had three children, all born in Ludlow, Windsor County, Vermont: Sardine Parkhurst (1839-1854), Amos Parkhurst (1841-1860) and Betsey Lydia (1842-1860). The family is living with Ephraim's father in the 1850 Vermont census. Our Betsy died in the town of Cavendish in March 1859, followed soon after by her children Amos and Betsey in 1860 and husband in 1861. 


A Family Record

Mr. Andrew Parkhurst Born March th.16 1773
Mrs Betsey Parkhurst Born August th 3 1783
They Were Married November the 1805

Betsy Parkhurst Born April th 9 1806
Silas Parkhurst Born Sept th 12 1808
He Died Sept th 20 1810
Amos Parkhurst Born August th 8 1812

When youth soft season shall be ore
And scenes of childhood charm no more
My riper years with joy shall see
This proof of infant industry

Wrought by Betsy Parkhurst AE 13
Chelmsford June th 16 1819

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(This sampler was added to the site on February 15, 2013)