Jane’s sweet sampler was originally released at the beginning of 2020 as a fundraiser in aid of the Rural Fire Services (RFS) of Katoomba/Leura and Wentworth Falls. The fundraiser ran from January 12th until April 14th, raising the net sum (after deduction of PayPal fees) of 28,919.40 British Pounds. All of this money was shared equally between the two brigades.
The fundraiser is now closed, but due to popular demand we have re-released Jane’s delightful sampler as a Little Gem, our series of samplers that are available as a pdf download.
When we were researching this Australian sampler there were two Janes that were of interest. The first Jane’s birth was registered in 1846 in the Counties of St Vincent. However, we later found a reference to her death in 1849. The second Jane was baptised in Cook VC, New South Wales, Australia on September 14, 1846.
Today, there is no place known as Cook VC. We initially thought it may have been an administrative or electoral division that included the Counties of St Vincent on the South Coast of NSW past Wollongong, an area now known as The Shoalhaven.
We discovered that Cook was one of the original Nineteen Counties, in the Colony of NSW. Settlers were permitted to take up land only within these counties, due to the dangers in the wilderness. The counties were defined by the Governor of NSW, Ralph Darling, in 1826 in accordance with a Government Order from Lord Bathurst, the Secretary of State. Counties had been in use since the first year of settlement, with Cumberland County being proclaimed on June 6, 1788. The area covered by the county extended to Kempsey in the north, Bateman’s Bay in the south, and Wellington in the west.
Cook County included the area to the west of Sydney, in the Blue Mountains, where Sandra lives. It sits between the Colo River in the north and the Coxs River in the south and west. The Nepean River forms the border to the east.
In the Births, Deaths and Marriages records the documents have codes for all the religions and churches scattered around NSW. In Cooks VC the “V” indicates that Jane was christened in a Catholic church and the “C” that the church was in Singleton, NSW.
Singleton is a town on the banks of the Hunter River and lies inland from Newcastle. It was established in the 1820s and was also called Patricks Plain. Jane’s sampler came into our hands from Merewether, which is one of the suburbs of Newcastle. Merewether is 47 1/2 miles from Singleton. We believe that there is a reasonable chance that the Jane Marshall that stitched this sampler was born around the Singleton area of NSW.
Both brigades of the Katoomba/Leura and Wentworth Falls RFS spent a substantial amount of time fighting fires in the region that was once called Cook County. If we have found the “right” Jane, then how fitting that her sampler should have been used for this particular fundraiser!
The two graphs included in the download are:
Graph 1 ~ A four-page colour symbol graph.
Graph 2 ~ A four-page black and white symbol graph.
The sampler is stitched entirely in cross stitch over two and can be stitched on linen or Aida. Jane is suitable for needleworkers of all abilities and would make an ideal “starter” project for those wishing to explore samplers.
At the very core of Hands Across the Sea Samplers there is a team of needleworkers who are passionate about antique samplers and being able to share those samplers with you.
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