The Lanark County Quilt and its Families

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The Lanark County Quilt and its Families

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This was purchased at a Gallery 15 auction on Monday and was a crazy quilt and made in 1902 in Lanark County. It is signed by the approximately 30 people who had a hand in making it.

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mary jane phelan o’neill
Mary O’Donnell was my great aunt and Im sure she along with her sister Bernadette,my grandmother, would have been among the quilters. She was born near Sheridan’s Rapids Lanark county. She married Anthony Quinn and then lived in Perth. She actually went by May not Mary.What a lovely thing to see! Thank you so much Linda for sharing.
Kathleen Quinn-Ashton
I am also related to May O’Donnell, she would be my Great Grandmother. Her son Joseph Vincent Quinn is the father to my Daddy Terence Michael Quinn.
So exciting to see this!

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Emma Playfair
Father
James Playfair
Sibling
William
Birth
Ontario 1877
Residence
1901 Bathurst Lanark (south/sud) Ontario

Karen Julian Hi Linda: When I saw the name Playfair on the quilt I contacted my friend, Katherine Quinsey (nee Playfair) and here is her response that I thought you would find interesting. “Thank you so much, Karen, for the post about the Lanark quilt. Emma is probably my grandfather Ross’s (b. 1886) older sister – but I will check on that. In the meantime, I can share this on the Playfair family FB page and send the post on to my brother Phil, who is a family historian. Thank you!”

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Record information.
Name
Nellie Caldwell
Mother
Helen Caldwell
Father
John Caldwell
Sibling
Esttren Caldwell
Birth
Ontario abt 1881
Residence
Dalhousie and Sherbrooke North Lanark North Ontario

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Name
Peter Delaney
Spouse
Mary Delaney
Birth
Ontario 1864
Residence
1901 Drummond Lanark (south/sud) Ontario

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Minnie Closs
Birth
Dalhousie abt 1874
Death
19/11/1915 Lanark Ontario Canada

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Karen Andrews

I recognized several of the names on this quilt, and have since conversed with someone in Lanark Co. who was able to tell me about some of the family connections. The names that stand out the most for me are: “Uncle Jerry and Aunt ‘Kate’ Nolan of Rainny River”. Note: Jeremiah NOLAN and Catherine (MULLALLY) Nolan were my great grandparents; early pioneers who staked claim, settled/farmed in Sleeman, Ontario.. in the Rainy River District. At that time, with the railroad coming through, the town of Beaver Mills (now known as Rainy River) was a very busy community , 7 miles to the west. The census for that era can be found in Algoma Co. I imagine that Ann Nolan, who’s name is on the same quilt, would be their daughter, Anastasia Nolan. She became a nun (Sister Alexis) and she taught in various schools in that area, as well as in Old Chelsea, Quebec. (I am so very curious as to ‘who’ cousin Lorne Nolan was, because I’ve never known of any Nolan family connections there! I’ve wondered about the Nolans who were Carleton Place, but have never known a connection there either. ) By the way, Jeremian Nolan’s mother (Anastasia (Shortt) NOLAN, a widow with two young boys: Thomas and Jeremiah) married Owen O’Donnell. Both are buried in Furguson Falls, ON. They had two children: Catherine and Michael. I have a lovely picture of Mary O’Donnell…who became Mrs. Anthony Quinn…anlso named on this quilt. It was one of the few photos that were in Jeremiah and Catherine Nolan’s old velvet photo album (which I inherited), and one of the few pictures that had a name written on the back. (I was raised across the road from their homestead, in Sleeman, then later, in Rainy River, ON. After marriage, and for the past 50+ years, we have lived in the District of Kenora, ON. ….only 100 miles from Rainy River. This article, posted yesterday, about this particular quilt, is one of the most interesting, and exciting on-line discoveries that I’ve come across during my family research. A fascinating piece of history and a major treasure!! Much appreciated!

In hindsight, I’ve just noticed that this Lanark Quilt article was just posted today! It’s truly “the luck of the Irish” for me to have discovered it so quickly; on the same day! Many thanks!

September 11, 2019

Rodena Bell from the Women’s Institute South Lanark (Balderson) added more info about names of those on the quilt:

Rufus Purdon– McDonald’s Corners

A Jackson ( Bill Jackson his son was the undertaker in McDonald’s Corners)

Bella Purdon  McDonald Corners (married Arthur Forbes)

Bessie Purdon McDonald’s Corners (married Joseph Arnett)

John Purdon– McDonald’s Corners

Mr. Legary-owned the butcher shop McDonald’s Corners

From Louise Gour

The quilt was well received at the Lanark County Quilters Guild and many were fascinated by it’s history.
I did have conversations with some of our members about the quilt and how all the names are embroidered on it.  One member mentioned that this is likely a quilt that was made as a fundraiser.  Either a church or community fundraiser.   As we looked at the quilt more closely we noticed that all the stitching looks to be very consistent.  This would indicate that likely only 1 person would  have had a “hand” in quilting/making it.  This is likely Ms Mary O’Donnell as she is noted as “made by” .  When we see quilts made as part of a “quilting bee” with many people helping to make them,  we usually notice differences in how the stitches are done.  Stitching is kind of like how everyone’s hand signatures are all slightly different from person to person. What was common in that time/era was for people to contribute materials (fabric, threads, batting) or even some money for purchase of new materials.  It’s likely that the names embroidered on the quilt are those who contributed in this way to the making of the charity quilt.
This is only our thoughts on the possible history of this great treasure. Some of the ladies in my Guild have been making quilts for a very long time.  They do know their craft well. 😉   I’ve only been Quilting for 2 years now and I’m only a novice compared to them.  I trust their knowledge on this topic.

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If your museum or group would like to see this quilt or have it in your museum for two weeks– EMAIL me at sav_77@yahoo.com. I would like to see this quilt be seen by as many people in Lanark County

historicalnotes

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where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

12 responses »

  1. I recognized several of the names on this quilt, and have since conversed with someone in Lanark Co. who was able to tell me about some of the family connections. The names that stand out the most for me are: “Uncle Jerry and Aunt ‘Kate’ Nolan of Rainny River”. Note: Jeremiah NOLAN and Catherine (MULLALLY) Nolan were my great grandparents; early pioneers who staked claim, settled/farmed in Sleeman, Ontario.. in the Rainy River District. At that time, with the railroad coming through, the town of Beaver Mills (now known as Rainy River) was a very busy community , 7 miles to the west. The census for that era can be found in Algoma Co. I imagine that Ann Nolan, who’s name is on the same quilt, would be their daughter, Anastasia Nolan. She became a nun (Sister Alexis) and she taught in various schools in that area, as well as in Old Chelsea, Quebec. (I am so very curious as to ‘who’ cousin Lorne Nolan was, because I’ve never known of any Nolan family connections there! I’ve wondered about the Nolans who were Carleton Place, but have never known a connection there either. ) By the way, Jeremian Nolan’s mother (Anastasia (Shortt) NOLAN, a widow with two young boys: Thomas and Jeremiah) married Owen O’Donnell. Both are buried in Furguson Falls, ON. They had two children: Catherine and Michael. I have a lovely picture of Mary O’Donnell…who became Mrs. Anthony Quinn…anlso named on this quilt. It was one of the few photos that were in Jeremiah and Catherine Nolan’s old velvet photo album (which I inherited), and one of the few pictures that had a name written on the back. (I was raised across the road from their homestead, in Sleeman, then later, in Rainy River, ON. After marriage, and for the past 50+ years, we have lived in the District of Kenora, ON. ….only 100 miles from Rainy River. This article, posted yesterday, about this particular quilt, is one of the most interesting, and exciting on-line discoveries that I’ve come across during my family research. A fascinating piece of history and a major treasure!! Much appreciated!

    Like

  2. In hindsight, I’ve just noticed that this Lanark Quilt article was just posted today! It’s truly “the luck of the Irish” for me to have discovered it so quickly; on the same day! Many thanks! (Karen Andrews)

    Like

    • Karen == thank you.. Just got it yesterday and it will be not before the weekend until I can do some research.. I will add your comments with great thanks. My mission is to get this quilt out to the masses so all can enjoy.

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      • This quilt will be so very interesting for many people to see and to learn more about. In particular, I wonder if you will find that several of those 1902 quilters still have family decendants there, in the Lanark Co. area, who today, might still have links to St. John the Baptist R.C. in Perth. Members of the Historical Societies, the Museums, the Family Research groups, the Canadian Legion and the various Senior clubs, including current quilters, will surely find this so fascinating. Your meetings, travels, conversations and discoveries in the weeks and many months ahead will be so awesome. Enjoy!

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  3. Mary O’Donnell was my great aunt and Im sure she along with her sister Bernadette,my grandmother, would have been among the quilters.what a lovely thing to see! thank you so much Linda for sharing

    Like

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