Discoveries: She Was 78 when She Died, and Left a Lasting Keepsake

My 2nd cousin might easily have been forgotten – but she left a lasting keepsake that she made in about 1750.

Esther Stoddard (1738-1816) grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts. Her father, Col. John Stoddard, was well known in the community. Her grandfather was the powerful minister Rev. Solomon Stoddard, and her cousin was Rev. Jonathan Edwards who sparked the Great Awakening.

Her obituary was brief: “At Northampton… miss Esther Stoddard, aged 78.”

Source: GenealogyBank, Boston Commercial Gazette (Boston, Massachusetts), 3 June 1816, page 2

It was her embroidery skills and a piece she created while quite young that she is best known for. When she was about age 12, she embroidered this scene that has been passed down and preserved at the Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Source: Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center, Northampton, Massachusetts

This is her home as it appears today.

Source: Historic Buildings of Massachusetts. The cupola was added in the mid-1800s.

Does your family have a sampler or pieces of embroidery or other objects made by your ancestors and passed down in the family? If so, be sure to write down the stories of the people who made your family heirlooms, and post that information online.

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