Elspeth’s sampler is a wonderful example of Scottish band samplers, and is divided into six bands. First is a row of flowers, some in pots and some growing from the ground. Second is her single zig zag carnation band, unlike the others of this companion group that are crossed double bands. The third band is an assortment of spot motifs, with a woman in period dress in the center surrounded by flowers and animal figures. Next is a representation of the undulating carnation band that is very common on eighteenth century samplers. Another motif band follows, full of hearts, flowers, swans and other birds. The bottom band contains her signature, familial initials under crowns (AW, AW, BW, AW, IW, AW), numerals and the date.
While this sampler is not in the best condition it has excellent color and very fine stitching. It is always sad when the wool ground gets eaten away and the silk stitching remains.
Size (W x H): 8 1/4 x 12 1/4 inches
Stitches: Cross, eyelet, running back, satin
Media: Silk on wool
Adam Walker and Barbara MakDougal of Yetholm, Roxburghshire registered the births of two daughters: Agnes (1753) and Elspeth (1755). In 1781, Elspeth married James Robertson of Sprouston. James' brother Robert becomes the schoolmaster in Sprouston and brother William becomes the minister in Ednam (a small village near Kelso).
Elspeth and James registered the births of five children in Sprouston parish: Alexander (1783), Jane (1785), Elisabeth (1787), Mary (1789) and Barbara (1790). We have as of yet been unsuccesful in determining when and how Elspeth died.
(This sampler was added to the site on November 14, 2014)
A barely discernible penciled note on the back of the original frame provided a valuable link to Elspeth's family history. Although quite incomplete, it did give us enough clues that eventually lead to the correct genealogy. The key name was that of Duncan McDonald Church, the man who married Elspeth's daughter Elisabeth. We've successfully tracked, but not provided here, several of Elspeth's further generations.