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Maker(s):Wells, Sally O.
Title:family register
Date Made:1807
Materials:textile: cotton, linen, silk; wood
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Hatfield-Northampton area
Measurements:overall: 17 in x 15 1/2 in; 43.18 cm x 39.37 cm
Accession Number:  HD 90.006
Credit Line:Mr. and Mrs. Hugh B. Vanderbilt Fund for Curatorial Acquisitions
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Framed family register with the names and birth dates of eleven members of the Wells and Dwight families in circles around a central pastoral scene of a shepherdess and a little girl, both wearing white dresses with pink ribbons and straw bonnets surrounded by a flock of French knotted lambs; another young girl in a gazebo under a leafy tree on the left over two trees and a white house and two-story white building, which is done in pink, white, green, yellow and blue silk and wool stitches on linen. When Sally O. Wells (b.1795) designed her needlework, she placed herself in the refined landscape at the center where work and leisure are combined, equidistant from her home and meeting house depicted at the two bottom corners of the composition. The names of family members starting on the top include: Sally's maternal grandmother, "Tabitha Dwight / Born Feb. 22, 1741" of Providence, RI., and her paternal grandfather, "Elisha Wells / Born Nov 10 1731 / Died Oct 5 1792 / Aged 61." The second row has Tabitha's husband, "Josiah Dwight / Born Nov. 15 1747 / Died Sept. 1796 / Aged 49" on the left and "Rhoda Wells / Born Oct 18 1734" on the right side, who was Elisha Well's third wife who died in 1817. The third row has Sally's father, "Moses Wells / Born July 19 1771 / Married Mar 11 / 1794" on the left, and her mother, "Abigail Wells / Born Sept 4 1776" on the right, who was the daughter of Josiah and Tabitha Dwight. The fourth row has Sally O Wells / Born Nov 15 1795" on the left and Lois D Wells / Born Oct 5 1793" on the right. The bottom row has "Mabel M. Wells / Born April 7 1799" and "Sally O Wells / Aged 11 Hatfield / August 21 1807" and "D. Dwight / Born Oct 3 1774 / Died June 25 1805 Aged / 30 . D Dwight Born July / 4 Died August 9 1805 / Aged 27." Dorcas Dwight (1774-1805) was Sally's aunt, and Daniel Dwight (1778-1805) was her uncle, her mother's sister and brother. According to the Dwight family history, Abigail Wells (1776-c.1836) married Moses Wells in 1795, and had one child, Sally Wells who married a Mr. Percival of Greenbush, NY. After Moses Well's death (date unknown), Abigail married Jonathan Bliss of Hartford, Connecticut. It is unclear if this record is correct and, if so, who are Mabel M Wells and Lois D Wells. Needlework like this example with the background completely filled in with long floating stitched of crinkled off-white silk floss are characteristic of a small group attributed to the Hatfield-Northampton area. An almost identical needlework family register made by Julia Ann Fitch of Connecticut also exists, and like the Wells register, suggests Hatfield and is dated 1807.

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© Historic Deerfield, Inc, photo by Penny Leveritt
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