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New Immigrants (1820-1840)

Fanny Bible's Quilt

Fanny Bible

Fanny Bible's quilt, created 1832

Fanny Bible was born about 1800 in the County of Limerick, Ireland. About 1824, Fanny married Robert McGinness, a shoemaker from the Village of Kilfinane, Parish of Munster, County of Limerick. Their first child, Arthur Bible McGinness was born in Kilfinane. DISCOVER MOREReadmore Arrow

Bible is a Palatine name. The Oliver family brought the Palatines to Kilfinane in the 1760's. Other Palatine names connected to the Kilfanane area include the Hecks, Dulmages, Laziers and Coles.

When Fanny was a young woman, Munster suffered near famine, followed by a vicious Rockite attack on the "Palatine devils" who were Protestant and staunchly loyal to their Protestant landlords. Legislation in 1829 also disenfranchised low income families. Spinning and weaving as cottage industries were in decline. Robert and Fanny's future in Ireland was uncertain, so in 1830 the McGinness family left Ireland to seek their fortune in Upper Canada. They settled in Richmond Township, near the Village of Selby.

Family tradition relates that Fanny brought with her a quilt back woven from flax grown on the family farm in Ireland. The quilt is embroidered, white on white, "FB 32". Likely the quilt was assembled in Richmond Township between Fanny's arrival in Canada in 1830, and the birth of her oldest daughter Elizabeth in 1836.

Pieces in quilts like Fanny's were an accumulation from the family scrapbag. The pieces in Fanny's quilt are machine printed from the early part of the nineteenth century. The wear on the brown prints is typical as the dye was based on iron and eventually rusts out.

The quilt was given by Fanny to her oldest daughter, Elizabeth "Eliza" McGinness who married Elhanan Fralick of Ernestown Township in 1858. Eliza, in turn, gave the quilt to her oldest daughter, Frances "Fanny" Fralick who married James S. Brandon, Morven. Fanny Brandon, in turn, passed the quilt to her daughters.

Fanny and Robert McGinness lived out their lives in Richmond Township. They had seven children. Robert died June 11, 1872, and Fanny died August 20, 1877.

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