Martha Ferrall,

Martha Ferrall,

Fairfield Township, Columbiana County, Ohio, 1822

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sampler size: 17¼” x 13¾” • framed size: 21¼”x 17¾” • sold

An outstanding sampler, this is signed, “Martha Ferrall Columbiana County Ohio August 1822.” Notably, it was published in Ohio Is My Dwelling Place: Schoolgirl Embroideries 1800-1850 by Sue Studebaker (Ohio University Press, 2002) as figure 188. The sampler is particularly beautiful and finely worked, with a sophisticated composition and unusual elements. Some of these, according to Mrs. Studebaker, with their origins in Germanic and Quaker traditions - the pair of flying angels holds the large banner that includes the inscription and the large garland of flowers surrounding the verse in the lower half of the sampler that is also embellished with butterflies and large flower blossoms. A copy of this book, along with the research file, will accompany the sampler.

Mrs. Studebaker researched the Ferrall family history and further research conducted recently confirms these facts. Martha was the daughter of William and Mary (Bangham) Ferrall, born in Virginia in 1799. William (1755-1827) had served in the Revolutionary War in Virginia. His father was Dominick Ferrall who emigrated from Ireland and married a Quaker, initiating the family’s affiliation with the Quaker church. In 1814, the family removed to Ohio where the Middleton Monthly Meeting recorded the membership of Martha, her mother and two sisters. It is probable that Martha made her sampler at the Salem Friends School which was established in 1822, the same year that year that she made her sampler. It is also possible that Martha was a teacher at that school.

Columbiana County records include Martha’s marriage to John Booth Jr. on December 20, 1831. Martha and John had at least four children. The family is included in History of Columbiana County, Ohio with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers (Philadelphia: D. W. Ensign & Co., 1879).

The sampler was worked in silk on very fine linen. The needlework itself is in excellent condition throughout, there two minor area of loss to the linen. It has been conservation mounted and is in its original painted black frame.


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