Saturday, April 26, 2014

Unusual Gravestone

Now that spring is here, I'm anxious to get back into taking gravestone photos at our local cemeteries to post on Find A Grave. There are still two cemeteries close by that keep me busy. I take about 100 pics each time I go and then re-size each one to meet the requirements for uploading. Each photo gets posted to a memorial page which I've created. Definitely a time-consuming activity. But last fall I got smart and began submitting spreadsheets directly to FAG which meant that all the info I provided was imported and memorial pages were created automatically. Once I got the okay that everything looked good I could begin to upload the photos.

In addition to taking photos locally, I often try and squeeze in a side trip to Albany Rural Cemetery when visiting my son and his family. This is a huge cemetery with lots of interesting gravestones. Sometimes I just drive around until something catches my eye and then stop to take photos.

When I saw this monument a few years ago, I just had to take a closer look. What do you think that top ornament is supposed to be?


A huge acorn?

Those are definitely oak leaves.

The inscription on the front:


A second marker clearly states their names and relationship. 

The Albany Rural Cemetery records are available online at

Margaret was the Executrix of her husband's will. 

The year of Margaret's death was never inscribed on the gravestone. She died in 1914 yet her name appears in the 1915 Albany, New York State Census.

Here is Margaret's memorial page on Find A Grave.

I recently volunteered to help computerize the records of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx for the Italian Genealogical Group. I've done data entry work for them before. Besides, I have ancestors who are buried at Woodlawn and it's my way of giving back :)

Happy Spring!

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Common Threads Quilt Exhibit Part II

Last week I posted some of the signature quilts that are on display at the Common Threads: Quilting Traditions of Hunterdon County, NJ, exhibit in Flemington, NJ.

This week I'm posting some of the star quilts along with a comet quilt and an unusual feathered square.

This Mathematical Star with Satellite Stars is the first thing you see as you walk into the exhibit area. It is a stunning c. 1842 quilt, 90" x 92", from the Hunterdon County Historical Society Collection.

The quilting designs are simple stencil and outline.

Seven-Pointed Compass Star with Vine Border, c. 1850, 82" x 98", Hunterdon County Historical Society Collection. The stars "are not set in blocks, but are appliqued into two long strips."

Some of the flowers stem from the vine, others from the edge of the quilt.

Medallion Star with Wild Grapes and Swags, c. 1850, 90" x 90", Meg Slutter Collection. This quilt was acquired at a farm sale near Lambertville in Hunterdon County. Note the size of the swag shapes in the border.

The background fabric is an unusual light blue print. Lots of stuffed grapes amidst a vine of grape leaves. 

A soft and subtle Mathematical Star, Chintz Set, c. 1850, from the Hunterdon County Historical Society Collection. 

Wonderful fabrics on the front and a roller printed chintz on the back.

Nine-Block Applique, Comet, c. 1832, 95" x 95", Township of Lebanon Museum Collection. Chintz applique blocks with quilted comets.

Sawtooth Squares with Vine Border, c. 1845, 66" x 76", Jackie Burachinsky Collection. Each red square is surrounded by appliqued sawteeth.  "One other quilt using this technique is known and is at the Historical Society of Montgomery County in PA--not too far away for some interaction between the quilters. . . "

Love the little birds perched on top of the potted flowers in the border!

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

Friday, April 11, 2014

Common Threads Quilt Exhibit

This past Monday, friends and I went to Flemington NJ to see the Common Threads: Quilting Traditions of Hunterdon County, NJ exhibit curated by Judy Grow and sponsored by the Hunterdon County Tricentennial Committee. There were 48 quilts on loan from local museums, historical societies, and private collectors.

Here are photos of some the signatures quilts:

Chimney Sweep, Amy C. Hampton, 1845, 95" x 95." Hunterdon County Historical Society Collection. "There are 49 blocks. . . with signatures in all but one block."



Eliza Hager, Signature, 1843, 96" x 96," Judy Grow Collection. "This quilt of 25 pieced blocks with white sashing and blue corner blocks uses only two print fabrics with a fine plain white. . ."


Chimney Sweep with Dogtooth Border, 1849, 91" x 106." Hunterdon County Historical Society Collection. "The quilt is dated 1849 in many blocks. . . there are 30 blocks with 29 names and typical sentiments written on them. . . "

Flemington Baptist Church Mission Band, Fundraiser, 1883, 72" x 80", Hunterdon County Historical Society Collection. "The mission was organized in 1881 and was not musical. . . eight young teenage girls met to baste blocks to be sent to the Missionary Training Schools. . ."

Dilts/Holcombe Album, c. 1843, 96" x 108-1/2", Lambertville Historical Society Collection. "This early album, or sampler quilt includes 56 applique and pieced blocks. . . some of the blocks are personalized with small inked pictures. . . "

Somehow I missed taking a full photo of a c. 1842 Ohio Star Signature quilt which I absolutely loved but managed to take details of several blocks with wonderful blue fabrics and sashing: 


Ohio Star, On-Point Set, Signature, c. 1842, 91" x 93-1/2," Sandra Starley Collection. "These 61 "Ohio Star" blocks with accompanying half- and quarter-blocks are set on-point and are separated and bordered by "fussy-cut" striped sashing fabric. . . The quilt includes 71 signatures, some of them dated 1841 and 1842. . . "

I think I need to make a smaller version of this quilt :)

I'll try and post some of the star quilts next week. 


Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer