|Courtesy of the Bates County Museum|
" This Silk was purchased in England in 1744 for a travelling dress."
Mrs. S. Baldwin
Mrs. S. Baldwin was Mary (Ingraham) Baldwin who was living in Blue Springs, Gage, NE at the time.
This scrap of fabric was donated to the Bates County Museum, along with the silk bag that I featured in an earlier post, by my great great grandmother Maud (VanSant) Grimes. We all just called her "Granny" and still do to this day. Granny loved to quilt. When she wasn't helping on the farm or raising her eight children, she was piecing quilts. So it makes sense that she would have held on to this piece of fabric. But who was the travelling dress made for?
The note on the fabric was written by Mary (Ingraham) Baldwin so I started there. It would have either came down through her or her husband, Samuel Baldwin. I had done extensive research on Mary's line as it is my Mayflower line and the wording of the note struck a bell. After some digging (ok, a lot of digging) through my notes I came upon some photocopied pages of a book entitled Puritans, Pioneers & Planters An Ingraham-Abbott-Wardwell-Culver-Burbank Genealogy written by Norma Quarles Hare. In the preface of the book, Mrs. Hare describes her and her mother going through a box of possessions that belonged to her great grandmother, Delia Balis (Ingraham) Blakemore. In this box they found a scrap of red, silk brocade fabric that matched a square in a crazy quilt that Delia had made and stitched the year 1744 into. Attached to this fabric was a note in her great grandmother's handwriting that read:
"This silk was purchased in England for a travelling dress for Mrs. Wardwell, nee Swan".
Bingo! What are the chances of two scraps of fabric owned by two Ingraham descendants each of which contains a note with almost identical wording not being from the same dress? I'm pretty sure I have located the original owner of the dress from whence the fabric came. Wait for it........ Hannah (Swan) Wardwell daughter of Ebenezer and Margaret (Woodbury) Swan and wife of Capt. John Wardwell all of Bristol, RI. Capt. John Wardwell was the son of John and Phebe (Howland) Wardwell. I do not believe however that the fabric was bought in 1744 as my 4th great grandmother stated in the note. The year 1744 is actually the date of Hannah's birth. So I'm thinking that there was a little mix-up along the way and the year 1744 was incorrectly listed as the date of the purchase of the fabric instead of the date of Hannah's births.