Monday, August 18, 2014

Another Unfinished Sampler, and another Mystery!

(two lines of stitching picked out)

Then let us think on death
Though we are yours and gay
For God who gave our life and breath
Can take them soon away

Wrought by Mary Williams.  Under
the care of L. Brigham.  Born April 13th
1803.  Aged 14 Marlborough Aug. 1st 1817

Last year I posted a story about my 2nd great grandmother, Phebe Cross Munroe’s (1830 – 1895) unfinished schoolgirl sampler.  You can read it at this link HERE.    A reader, Carolyn Stone, contacted me via email and sent me photos of this unfinished schoolgirl sampler she owns.   Carolyn also has the marriage record, a will, some handwritten family records and drawings that all go along with this little unfinished sampler by Mary Williams of Marlborough, Massachusetts.

According to the Marlborough, Massachusetts published vital records, Volume 1, page 199 Mary Williams was born on April 13, 1803, the daughter of Joseph Williams, Jr. and Mary.    The marriage records of Marlborough identify her mother Mary as Mary Freeman [Volume 1, page 328], and the date of the marriage as January 6, 1803 in Marlborough.   Mary Williams had siblings- Anna, born June 30, 1804; Daniel, born March 1, 1811; and Joseph, born February 5, 1814.

According to The History of the Town of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, by Charles Hudson, Boston, 1862, page 471, Joseph Williams was the son of Joseph Williams and Anna Stow, and grandson of Joseph William and Lydia Unknown.  This wife was Lydia Munroe, born March 7, 1717/18 in Weston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Benjamin Munroe and Lydia Stone, my first cousin 7 generations removed.  So the two little girls who stitched these samplers, Mary Williams and Phebe Cross Munroe, were distant cousins!  See the book, The Monroe Book: Being the history of the Munro Clan from its origins in Scotland to settlement in New England and migration to the West, 1652 – 1850 and beyond, by John Guilford, Genealogy Publishing Service, Franklin, NC, 1993.   The Weston vital records are available online at

If anyone has any further information on Mary Williams or her sampler, please comment here or email me at and I will pass on the information to Carolyn Stone.   Thank you!

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. That is such a treasure. I read the story of Phebe's sampler, too - interesting that both took on these pieces at the age of fourteen, and that both have such dark verses! They are both beautiful and look very time-consuming, to say the least.