Emma Sandford 1867

The original sampler size is: 9 inches wide x 10.5 inches high (stitched area)

Emma's 1867 sampler was stitched over 2 threads on an uneven-weave fabric that was 60+ threads per inch. The entire piece was worked in Cross stitch with approximately 31 full stitches per inch.

This sampler is a common example of the redwork samplers created in the Orphan Homes in the 1860's and 1870's. The alphabets and motifs stitched were found in the 1850-1860's English pattern book shown elsewhere on this website. The format of alphabets at the top and motifs at the bottom can be seen in many similar samplers. This style is easily recognizable as a Bristol Orphan sampler.

This sampler is in the private collection of Claudia Dutcher Kistler.

This sampler has been charted for stitchers. You can purchase a chart from a needlework store or directly from Dutch Treat Designs.

Orphan Story

Emma Elizabeth Sandford

1851 Born October 5, 1851 at Norman's Row, Gloucester, England
Baptized November 2, 1851 in the Parish of St. Nicholas, Gloucester

Emma's Parents were Edwin Sandford and Charlotte Nelmes
Married March 29, 1840 Edwin's Occupation - shoemaker

Brothers: George [b. 1839]; Alfred [b. 1844]; Edwin [b. 1847]

1854 Edwin Sandford [b 1805] - died September 20, 1854 from cholera

1857 Charlotte Nelmes [b 1818] - died July 6, 1857 from peritonitis

After the father's death, the children and their mother went to live with the grandparents (her parents) William and Ann Nelmes. When their mother died, the children remained with the grandparents. The St. Nicholas Parish gave the grandparents a small stipend and 2 quarter loaves of bread per week for Emma. Money from the Parish provided income for the grandparents and the children. Emma attended the St. Nicholas Parish school while living with her grandparents.

1861 The Children - their occupation and ages as listed in the 1861 census

George [b 1839] private in the 28th regiment in India [age 23]
Alfred [b 1844] sailor on the Geyser, steam tug, Portsmouth [age 18]
Edwin [b 1847] living with the grandparents [age 14]
Emma [b 1851] scholar, living with the grandparents [age 10]

The grandparents William and Ann Nelmes petitioned for Emma to be accepted into the orphanage in 1861, citing their ages (78 and 66) and inability to work as reasons for her to be admitted.

1862 Emma was admitted to the Girl's Department in House #1 on March 21

Child #1085 [age 10] had in her possession when admitted:

black flock bed - replaced the one her father died in, which was burnt
3 old chairs; 1 oak table; a dozen plates; a few knives and forks
small quantity of bedding which was worn out and discarded

Household possessions that children brought with them when they entered the orphanage were sold to raise money. These were Emma's few possessions as listed in her orphan records.

Emma was 15-16 years old when she completed her sampler in 1867.

1868 Dismissed from the Orphan Homes on December 22, 1868 [age 17]

Placed as a house or kitchen maid with Mrs. Tarrant in Leeds, England.
In 1871 Emma (age 21) may be listed as a servant in the household of an Arthur Player, Minchinhaptom Parish. She may have married a Henry Shaw in 1881 at age 29. There is no record of any children. A death date has not been verified.

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