Talented Tuesday: Ann Murch's antique embroidery

Studying family history never ceases to amaze me - I never know what's going to turn up next. Last week I was contacted by a distant cousin in Canada who mentioned that she owned a gorgeous embroidery which was worked by my 4 x great-grandmother, Ann Murch.

Antique, embroidered map of England & Wales by Ann Murch
Antique, embroidered map of England & Wales by Ann Murch

I know very little about Ann except that she was born in about 1782, married Joseph Dando, the elder, in Bristol in 1801 and died on 11th May 1831. Therefore, imagine my surprise to discover that such an object was created in the first place and that it has survived and stayed in the family for more than 200 years.

The embroidery takes the form of a map of England and Wales and bears Ann' s name and the date, 1794. Ann would have been 12 or so when she made it. Although I've only seen it in photos, I should imagine the embroidery is a couple of feet high and it sits behind glass within an oval, gold-coloured frame.

Some of the place names are interesting too - the North Sea is called the 'German Ocean' and Scotland is 'North Britain called Scotland'. I see Plymouth on there (spelt Plimouth), which is where I live, and Ann has included Bristol where she and Joseph shared their married life together.

Not only did I discover the existence of the embroidery but I also learnt from my cousin that there's a family connection by marriage to the poet, W H Auden.

(Photograph kindly supplied by Sally Tozer)

[Why Talented Tuesday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Category: Ancestors Corner

« Prev item - Next Item »


Wow. That is an amazing piece of embroidery!
Very lovely embroidery - and isn't it great to hear from distant cousins?? Thanks so much for sharing!
What a marvellous discovery to have an embroidery stitched by an ancestor so long ago. A unique family treasure!
I love the "North Britain Called Scotland" I can't see people from Scotland approving of that phrase, but it amuses me!
What a treasure! I think it is much smaller than you stated, worked in tiny stitches. And she was only 12 years old!
Amazing! I have never seen an embroidery piece like this before. I suppose it was one way for a girl to learn letters and geography.

About the size.... I was trying to decide how wide a cat's head might be and then you could multiply it by 5 or 6 for the length.

Leave comment

(Comments will be approved before being published.)