June 16, 2014

Holmes Family Quilts, Part 3

We return once more for a look at the Holmes Family quilts attributed to Anne E. Holmes of Loudoun County, Virginia.

These family quilts are all beautifully constructed, but as they were studied for recurring patterns we noticed that several of them contain odd, seemingly random choices of fabrics.

To creative eyes, the visual effect evokes a feeling of spontaneity, lending a charming surprise fo viewers.
We find the same occurrence on another quilt bearing the name of George W. Holmes.  The large blocks set on point (diagonally) between broad bands of sashing distinguish this handsome quilt, as do the diamonds emanating from the ends of the eight-pointed stars.
Anne Holmes' name is inscribed on two of the seven Holmes Family quilts, but others are inscribed with the names of her siblings George and Lorena.  This is not the first time we have found a group of family quilts inscribed with the names of siblings.  It reminds us that a name inscribed on a quilt might - but does not necessarily - denote the quilt's maker.  Furthermore, while there is documentation of nineteenth-century quilts made by men, there is such a strong oral family tradition that the quilts were made by Anne that it is unlikely that George made "his own" quilt.
George (1847-1915) became a Director in the Loudoun National Bank at Leesburg, Virginia.  He married Rebecca Crockett and they had two children.  They resided in Woodburn, Virginia, in a home they called "Meadow View Farm"
When studying historical quilts, it is important to ask as many questions as possible.  Anne and her sister lived with their parents for many decades and together even after their parents had died and Anne was married.  It is possible both worked on the quilts.  Their mother, Esther (or "Hester") Thomas Holmes lived from 1817-1892.  She may have had a hand in them too, as well as any of the help who shared their abode.  However, given the family tradition attributing the quilts to Anne, we will record her as the most likely maker of these wonderful quilts.
Photographs by Mary Holton Robare.
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare 2014.


June 1, 2014

Holmes Family Quilts, Part 2

Today we are returning to a private collection of quilts inscribed with the names of Holmes family members.  Family tradition attributes the quilts to Ann Eliza Holmes who was born in 1841.  Ann married Jonathan Logan in 1880, so the quilts inscribed with her maiden name most likely pre-date  her marriage.  One lovely example is this "Irish Chain" patterned quilt with green and double-pink fabrics.  The quilting, like that seen on the other quilts in the collection, is exquisite.

Quilt inscribed "Ann M. Holmes."
The quilt seen above is clearly inscribed with the distinctive, double-looped "A" used for the other inscriptions of Ann's name on quilts.  But Ann's is not the only name inscribed on the Holmes family collection of quilts.
The quilt above contains the inscribed name of Ann's sister, "Lorena M. Holmes."  Lorena (1861-1927), referred to in the family as "Lola", never married.  She lived for many years with her sister.
The Holmes family appears in Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy's transcribed Minutes for Goose Creek Meeting.  Ann's and Lola's mother was reported in 1839 for being "mou" (married out of unity) to their father, Elisha.  Elisha was recorded for the same transgression.  Interestingly, his "acknowledgement" was accepted and he was retained as a member.
In March of 1865, during the Civil War, Elisha Holmes entertained 8-10 confederate soldiers under the command of John S. Mosby for a month without charge, although one Quaker "was careful to point out that Mosby's guerillas remained in his neighborhood of Goose Creek Friends 'without  consent of the families where they lodged.'"  Still, Friends "suffered with great grace, swallowing their Union sentiments and providing the soldiers with the best their larders could provide."  John H. Alexander, author of Mosby's Men noted "the motherly instincts of the good housewives stirred [...] as they saw the boys enjoy their pies and jam; and I am sure the eyes of the demure maidens flashed quite naturally as they served apples, nearly as rosy as their cheeks, to the soldier boys."  (Chamberlin and Souders, 323, 380.)
It is likely Elisha's daughters (and quilt inscribed identities) Ann and Lorena were present at the time of this occupation.  In 1865 Ann would have been 23 years old; Lorena was just five.
As mentioned earlier, Ann married in 1880 but Lorena never did.  At the time of her death in 1927, Lorena was not a member of Goose Creek Meeting.  However, she left "a legacy of $500 in her Will, also a legacy of $500 to be used by proper authorities of the graveyard at Lincoln, Loudoun Co., VA, especially both Hicksite and Orthodox Friends, as a general fund for its upkeep.  Not being a member of this Meeting, her gift is greatly appreciated."
Ancestry.com, records accessed April 13, 2014.
Chamberlin, Taylor M. and Souders, John M.  Between Rebel and Yank: A Civil War History of Northern Loudoun County, Virginia.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2011.
Find A Grave Memorial #40296012.
Labaw, Rev. George Warne.  A Genealogy of the Warne Family in America.  New York: Frank Allaben Genealogical Company, 1911.
Personal conversation between Mary Holton Robare and Holmes family descendent, Loudoun County, Virginia, April 11, 2014.
(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare, 2014.