A WOMAN has been reunited with two pieces of needlework made by her ancestors thanks to Scarborough Museums Trust.

Ali Wilkins visited the Scarborough Collections – thousands of objects owned by the Borough of Scarborough and held in a controlled environment in the town’s Woodend Creative Workspace – to see a sampler created by her great, great, great, great grandmother, Elizabeth Sandwith, who was born in 1776 and died in 1801.

She was also shown a piece of embroidery depicting the head of Christ made by her great grandmother, Anne Elizabeth Watson.

Ali said: “Elizabeth Sandwith did the sampler when she was only 12. The other piece was done by my great-grandmother Anne Elizabeth Watson, née Ellis.

“Elizabeth was from Helmsley, according to letters from my great aunt Jannie Gaunt in Australia – it was she who donated the sampler to the museum.

“Apparently inside the church in Helmsley there is a portion of a wall dedicated to Sandwiths.

“Elizabeth married into the Stanhope family of Horsforth and their daughter Jane married Henry Wyrill, who was from a seafaring family.

“Their daughter Elizabeth married James Ellis, who was from a shipbuilding family. My ancestors down from Elizabeth Sandwith all lived, worked and had businesses in Scarborough. It is like a history lesson looking back at the houses they lived in.

“I was delighted to find that the pieces were still at the museum and in such good condition, particularly the sampler which is over 200 years old.

“The childlike depictions of all the different animals, birds and insects on the sampler show that Elizabeth must have designed it herself. I am overwhelmed that such an old piece of my family history has survived so long.”

Scarborough Museums Trust chief executive Andrew Clay said: “We were delighted to be able to reunite Ali with such an important part of her family’s heritage.

“Many of objects in the Scarborough Collections relate to local families.

“We’re always happy to try and connect people with their heritage, and in return find out a bit more about the objects themselves, although, with so many wonderful things in the collections, we do ask for a bit of notice.”

To request access to the Scarborough Collections, email jim.middleton@smtrust.uk.com or phone 01723 384504.