Saturday, March 14, 2020

Memorial Quilt

In looking at late-19th century quilt style I came across this
wool embroidered top with a heartfelt inscription.

"Quilt made of dress pieces of Mothers
Elisabeth R. Mowlds

"Elisabeth Rose Richardson Moudls
June 5th 1891 Aged 84 years
7 months 25 days"

"This is Oct. 11 
Her Birth"

At her Find-A-Grave memorial we find out how to spell
Moulds and much more about this well-loved Mother.

Elisabeth Rose was born in England in 1813. When she was about 20 she married (John) Fryer Richardson (1806-1853) a farmer in Suffolk. Farming in mid-19th-century England was not all nostalgia would have it; both Fryer and his father went bankrupt. Elisabeth and Fryer had six children; eldest John emigrated to the U.S., returned to England and encouraged the family, now operating a tavern in Huntingdonshire, to sail for America in 1853 on the sailing ship The Western World. The trip took 7 weeks and 3 days the family recalled.

The Western World ran aground and sank later that fall on
its regular Liverpool to New York run.

Elisabeth's husband died soon after they reached Sandersville, Illinois. He is reported to have walked with aid of a crutch all his life and the trip may have been too much for a 47-year-old in bad health. Elisabeth, her three daughters and three sons remained in Illinois, apparently living among an English colony of neighbors. Daughters Mary, Elizabeth and Martha married brothers who'd also come from England in 1853, perhaps on the same ship, sons of Sarah Howitt and John Moulds, who had 11 children.

Composite photo of the Moulds family about 1870
from Find-A-Grave

Elisabeth's Second Husband John Moulds (1808-1901)
John was remembered as a "Particular Baptist," a  
Calvinistic "dissenting" religion in England,
which may have motivated their emigration as much as failed farms.

Sarah Howitt Moulds died in 1885 and the following year Elisabeth married her daughters' father-in-law. This marriage lasted only five years with Elisabeth dying in 1891. She is buried in Flanagan, Illinois.
Elizabeth "Betsey" Richardson Moulds (1838-1911)

The quilt's inscription was stitched in October 11, 1897 so possible seamstresses are Betsey and Mary Richardson Moulds. Either could have embroidered the quilt of her mother's dresses. Sister Martha had died in on Christmas day in 1895 at 55 years old. Mary only survived her by a few months dying in April, 1898, so Betsey is the likely candidate.


  1. The Strict and Particular Baptist are known as the Primitive Baptist Church in this country. We are still "dissenting".

    Thanks for the post, Barbara

  2. Dear Barbara,
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    you are telling us about.
    Sorry. my english is a bit simple, but I want you
    to know how much I like your story's.
    Sonja Schabracq
    The Netherlands

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