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.”

Obituaries, Boston Commercial Gazette newspaper article 3 June 1816
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.

Photo: a piece of embroidery from Esther Stoddard
Source: Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center, Northampton, Massachusetts

This is her home as it appears today.

Photo: the house where Esther Stoddard once lived
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? Send us photos of the keepsakes in your family and the stories behind them.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.