Rosanna Martha Bird 1881

The size of the sampler is 14 inches wide and 15 inches high.

This sampler is very similar in size and format to the Pickernell sisters sampler. The double wreath format may have been popular among stitchers in the 1880's. I'm sure there will be more of this style of sampler that will surface.

The sampler is really a mix of styles including a Traditional layout, with many alphabets across the top, then border bands, and finally motifs along the bottom. The open Behold the Book section is most similar to the Tic Tac Toe style of sampler. This sampler includes the same layout across the bottom as Emma Matilda Pratt's 1886 sampler. The girls all copied from each other and yet each girl still made her sampler special and unique.

This sampler was not signed with a full name and it was a challenge to find who the stitcher was. Helped by the row of initials below the alphabet section, we know who she was. The RB in one wreath stands for Rosanna Martha Bird. We do not know who AA was.

The sampler is in a private collection. The images and information shown on this website are presented with the permission of the owner.

Orphan Story

As was often the case in Victorian times, sometimes there were two children with the same name. Usually this happens when the older child died. A later child was then given the same name for whatever reason. This was the case with Rosanna Martha Bird who was born in December 1865. Her older sister, the first Rosanna Bird, was born in 1863 and died in 1865. Our Rosanna was the only remaining child of three daughters when she was admitted to the orphanage in 1872 after the death of her parents.

Rosanna had lived with her maternal grandmother after her parents died. Ten years later, when she was dismissed from the orphanage in 1883, she was sent back to her maternal grandmother. Rosanna later went by the name Rose, and this made her harder to find in the census. What we do know is that she did marry and that her first husband died some time son after they were married. She continued in domestic service and later married her employer. They had one son.

Rosanna died in the third quarter of 1959 ad age 93.

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