Abigail N. Chipman,

Abigail N. Chipman,

Family Record, Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, c. 1836

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sampler size: 16¾” x 17¼” • framed size: 19¾” x 20¼” • price: $2300

Family record samplers served a purpose not unlike inscriptions in the family bible; they recorded and preserved important information regarding the cohesive family unit, which had taken on a heightened significance in the new republic. An important exhibition of these samplers, presented in 1989 at the DAR Museum in Washington, DC, documented the origin and great variety of this form. Curator Dr. Gloria Seaman Allen, in the accompanying catalogue, Family Record: Genealogical Watercolors and Needlework, states that the family record sampler was, most certainly, an American invention.

Abigail Needham Chipman, age 12, lived in Marlborough, Massachusetts, about 30 miles west of Boston. Her family record sampler features a handsome composition and precise layout and use of space – except for the spacing of the title: “A Family Record”! Family births are listed, beginning with her parents, Samuel Chipman and Edith Guilford, and their marriage in 1813 is stitched uniting them. Abigail was born on May 18, 1824. Much family information is published in The Chipman Family A Genealogy of the Chipmans in America 1631-1920, by Bert Lee Chipman (Winston-Salem, NC). We found that Abigail’s older brother Samuel was patriotically named Samuel Adams and, similarly, her brother George was named George Washington. Another child, Lucy, was born to the family in 1837, after Abigail made this sampler. 

As published in the genealogy book, the Chipman family in America began with Elder John Chipman who was born circa 1614 in England. He sailed on the ship, Friendship, arriving in Boston in 1631. In 1646, he married Hope Howland of Plymouth, and until 1850 all Chipmans in this country were descendants of this couple. Abigail was born six generations later. In 1842, she married Marshall Dadmun, also of Marlborough, and they became the parents of at least three children. Abigail died in 1861. 

The sampler was worked in silk in linen and is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is in a 20thcentury frame.


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