Sue Woodward who looks after our “Help Desk” gets many tricky and interesting queries. A recent email asked for help about the background to a 19th Century sampler (pictured here). Sue was able to tell the owner that:
Adeline who made the sampler was born in Herefordshire. By 1851 the family had moved to Cheltenham but they did not stay there very long before moving again to Worcestershire. By 1874 Adeline was in London getting married to George William Beale. She died in 1886 and is buried in London. George remarried soon afterwards. She would have been around 10 years of age when the work was done and there may be many more samplers made at the same Cheltenham School around the same time.
The surviving `log books` for the schools in the Cheltenham area talk about needlework classes and record the prizes for the best examples. Needlework class was only for the girls. The boys did woodwork or gardening.As most working-class girls would become servants before they married- it was necessary to teach them how to sew. They learnt how to repair clothes, bed sheets and make curtains/drapes etc.
If you have any more detail about this family contact us and we will pass it on.