May 16, 2014

Holmes Family Quilts: Part 1

With the kind permission of the owner, we are pleased to share photographs of seven historical Quaker quilts from the Holmes family of Loudoun County, Virginia.  These photographs will be presented in two parts.

Oral family tradition attributes the quilts to Ann E. Holmes.  Researching Ann, who also appears as "Anna Eliza" in some records, required a great deal of cross-referencing due to discrepancies in spellings and dates that appear in almost every record.  Irrefutable is the beauty and masterful craftsmanship of the quilts, the first of which (seen below) is also an explosion of color.

Holmes Family Quilt, private collection.  Photographs by Mary Holton Robare.

Ann E. Holmes was born 1841 in Virginia, the daughter of Elisha and Hester ("Esther" or "Esta" in some records) Holmes. The family appears in records of the Quaker Goose Creek Meeting, Loudoun County, Virginia.

Goose Creek Meeting House, March 2014.  Photograph by Mary Holton Robare.

Ann was the second of four children.  All four children married, but while the two boys (Owen T. and George W.) had children, Ann and her sister Lorena did not.  Since families so often pass quilts down through the females in the family, who then divide quilts among offspring, perhaps that is one reason so many quilts stayed together and descended to an indirect descendant.  With so many related quilts still together as a group, we have a fascinating context in which to view them.

 The quilting on all of the quilts is beautifully done.  It is also interesting to see fabric used in one quilt reappear in another, such as the red checked fabric in this quilt and the one shown below.

Holmes Family Quilts, private collection.  Photographs by Mary Holton Robare.

Ann married "Jno." (Jonathan) W. Logan on November 10, 1880.  Following his death in 1899, Ann is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal census.  She was living as a head-of-household with her twenty-years- younger sister Lorena (referred to by the family as "Lola"), a sixteen year old "B" (Black) servant, Laura Bryant, and Edmond Parker, a black servant of unknown age.  By 1910, Ann and her sister were living alone.  Ann died March 11, 1914 and is buried in the Goose Creek Burying Ground. We will learn a little more about her sister in the next post.

Note:  The Holmes Family Quilts will be on display at the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society as part of a special exhibit of Quaker Quiilts on June 13-15, 2014.  For more information call (540) 552-6550 or see

Sources:, records accessed April 13, 2014.

Find a Grave Memorial # 40296012.

Labaw, Rev. George Warne.  A Genealogy of the Warne Family in America.  New York: Frank Allaben Genealogical Company, 1911.  (pgs. 355-356)

Personal conversation between Mary Holton Robare and Holmes family descendant.  Loudoun County, Virginia, April 11, 2014.

(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2014.


  1. Thank you to the Holmes Family for letting you share these beautiful quilts with us. That Radiating Star is spectacular!! It's great to hear about the quilter.

  2. Oh, my, what lovely quilts! Thanks for sharing them. The handleless "Basket" is a new one to it!

  3. Wow, the yellow quilt is incredible! Thanks for sharing!