Isabella Thatcher 1871

The original sampler size is: 9.25 inches wide x 11.5 inches high (stitched area)

Isabella Thatcher stitched her sampler in 1871. The 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 three most similar samplers from this time, shown on this website, are Emma Sandford, Augusta, and Isabella. Since one stitcher often used the format of another stitcher's sampler, the format of alphabets at the top and motifs at the bottom is typical for this time period. This style is easily recognizable as a Bristol Orphan sampler.

Orphan Story

Isabella Thatcher

1856 Born February 15 in Dublin, Ireland Baptized 5 Apr 1856 catholic

Parents - John Thatcher [b 1806 Bath, England]
Jane Thomas [b. April 1835 Ireland]
John's Occupation - shoemaker
Married June 25, 1855 at parish church of St Luke in Dublin, Ireland. Jane was likely pregnant when they married.

Both of John's wives were named Jane and he had a daughter named Jane.

John's first wife was Jane Lewis [b.1801 - d.1850]
Married Oct 1, 1832 in Bath, Somerset, England
Daughter Mary Thatcher b. 1837 May have died early.
Daughter Jane Thatcher b. 1840

1859 Jane Thomas Thatcher died July 2, 1859 of Carcinoma
1860 John Thatcher died Jan 4, 1860 of Phthisis (Consumption/Tuberculosis)

1861 Census shows Isabella (age 5) with her half sister Jane (age 21). Jane was working as a dressmaker in Bath, England. Miss Charlotte M Shum applied for Isabella to be admitted to the orphanage. Older sister Jane, Miss Shum, and the Bath Union workhouse signed The Undertakings - the guarantee that Isabella, if not fit for the orphanage, would have a place to be sent to be taken care of.

1862 March 28, 1862 Isabella # 1091 was admitted to Orphan House 1 (Age 6)

1871 - Isabella was 15 years old when she completed her sampler.

1873 - Dismissed from the Orphan Homes 2 August 1873 (age 17)
Discharged as a house maid to Josiah Hunt, Ashley Hill, Bristol.
Agra Villa is .7 miles away from the orphanage on Ashley Down.

1881 Census shows Isabella (age 25) at the Hunt house listed as a nurse/servant

1881 Marriage to Charles Gosney [1857 - 1934] on August, 12, 1881

1882 Mary Louisa [d. 1927] 1891 Frederick Robert [d. 1981]
1884 Charles Gordon [d. 1963] 1892 Ethel Gertrude [d. 1969]
1885 William Edward [d.1954] 1894 Walter Harold [d.1983]
1886 Herbert Llewellyn [d. ?] 1896 Winifred Isabella [d.1983]
1889 Isabella Jennie [d. 1893] 1898 Edith Georgina [d. 1953]

1891 Census shows them at 324 Gloucester Road, Bristol which is less than a mile from the orphanage. Charles had a business. He was a boot finisher / maker.

1901 Census shows them on Ashley Down Road.

1917 Isabella died August 10, 1917 age 61. There is an additional entry in pencil in her orphan records listing her death date and married name. I would love to think that her heart was never far away from the orphans at Ashley Down and that maybe that she and her husband did what they could to help.

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