Melcher Family Register

Melcher Family Register

Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, 1769-1808

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sampler size: 16¼” x 13” • framed size: 18½” x 15½” • sold

Genealogical samplers, often called Family Register or Record samplers are an appealing and classic New England form; in this case, the samplermaker detailed the birthdays of everyone in her family, as well as the untimely death of her elder brother, Jonathan. The maker was one of the Melcher daughters, most likely Betsy or Polly.   

The design of the sampler is quite neat and features various stitches between the lines of text. The lower register features a variety of animals, including owls, perched birds, trees and interestingly colored dogs at the center.

Joseph Melcher (Sept. 5, 1767-1858) is listed as a cattle dealer who resided at the Melcher family homestead in Hampton, New Hampshire. He married Mary (Rowell) Melcher (Feb. 18, 1768), known as Polly, on March 15, 1792, and they had seven children, all listed:

Jonathan Melcher (Feb 16 – Feb 18, 1793)

Sally Melcher (Feb 7, 1774)

Betsy Melcher (Aug 5, 1796 – Oct 1, 1827) married Jewett Sanborn from Hampton Falls, New Hampshire in 1817. They had one child Eliza in 1817.

Polly Melcher (Dec 15, 1798 – May 13, 1888) married Caleb Tilton Sanborn, a farmer and carpenter from Kensington, New Hampshire and relative of Betsy’s husband, on April 20, 1824. Their marriage produced five children.

Elmyra Melcher (Apr 29, 1801-?) married Robert S. Prescott of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. Their marriage was fruitful, bearing ten children many of whom fought in the Civil War, from a navyman to an army musician.

Hannah Melcher (Mar 6, 1805-?) married Thomas Capen in 1832 in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. According to The Capen Family: Descendants of Bernard Capen of Dorchester, Mass. (Rev. Charles Albright Hayden, Springfield, Ill, 1929), “he was a large contributor to Tufts College.” The marriage produced no children.

Joseph Melcher (May 13, 1808-?)

The sampler is worked in silk on linen and it is in excellent condition, conservation mounted into a molded and painted frame.

Reverse of sampler



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