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Samplers

In 19th century Ulster, samplers were made as part of the needlework curriculum at school. Along with hemming and making buttonholes, girls learned how to sew initials for marking household linen.

They recorded and demonstrated their skills and techniques in a finished sampler. Other samplers were stitched to celebrate and commemorate events in the lives of loved ones, and in mourning. This section will tell you about some of the samplers in the Ulster American Folk Park’s collection.



Hariet Smallman, 1810 Hariet Smallman, 1810
This sampler was made by Hariet Smallman Boyle, County Roscommon. Dated 3rd December 1810.It has green embroidered alphabets, numbers and text with a red border. The inscription says ‘Hariet Smallman, December 3d 1810'. 

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Sarah Jordan Sarah Jordan
This sampler was made by Sarah Jordan and has an embroidered alphabet, pictures and a verse. It is embroidered in wool on linen. Its width is 25.3cm x height 42.5cm.The text says: ‘Enrich me with thy heavenly gifts For my instruction given Grant me on earth a rich reward And then a plac...

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Jane Campbell, 1840 Jane Campbell, 1840
This sampler was made by Jane Campbell from Aughalane, Plumbridge, County Tyrone and is dated October 1840.The sampler, including frame is 35cm by 21cm. Jane Campbell made this sampler when she was 13 years old. It was made as part of the school curriculum, to learn how to sew initials for marki...

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Incomplete Sampler Incomplete Sampler
This sampler is incomplete and worked on fine linen. The text with geometric border reads:(verse 1)If every man’s internal care Were written on his brow How many would our pity share That raise our envy now?(verse 2)The fatal secret when revealed Of every aching breast Would show that ...

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Dorcas McGee, 1852 Dorcas McGee, 1852
This sampler was made by Dorcas McGee in Ireland and brought to Australia in 1850.This has been kindly lent to the Ulster American Folk Park for inclusion in its temporary exhibition ‘Threads of Emigration, on display in the museum in 2005. This sampler has now been returned to its owner.&n...

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Ask an Expert
If you would like further information about this collection you may contact the curator by following this link and completing the short form.