Houghton Family Record Sampler,

Houghton Family Record Sampler,

Winchendon, Massachusetts, circa 1820

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sampler size: 16” x 16 ¾” • framed size: 18” x 18¾” • sold

Genealogical samplers served a distinct purpose in the early 19th century – they recorded and preserved information about American families, a decorative version of the entries into a family bible. This very lovely family record sampler, made for the family of Robert and Sarah (Jones) Houghton of Winchendon, Massachusetts, records their marriage in 1786 and the births of all, and deaths of most, of their eleven children. The sampler was worked likely circa 1820 by one of their daughters, perhaps Abegail (born in 1805) or Susan (born in 1811) and was updated over time, again in the tradition of the family bible; the last entry was stitched in 1868.

Winchendon, a town in Worcester County, about 60 miles from Boston, was home to the Houghton family. History of Winchendon, Worcester County, Massachusetts, by Abijah Perkins Marvins (1868), and many vital records of the town include information regarding this couple and the ten children born to them. Additionally, published information about the family of Sarah (Jones) Houghton indicates that she was from the nearby town of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, the daughter of William and Sarah (Stone) Jones.

The beautifully worked border of pale flowers and teal leaves vines caught with a blue bowknot is an effective visual framework for the precisely composed interior. The sampler was worked in silk on linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into an oak frame. 

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