This white cotton coverlet is knitted in squares in a leaf design. It was knitted by Rebecca Suitor, who was born in Ireland in 1866 (pictured below). According to family tradition, she knitted this coverlet between 1902 and 1905.
Rebecca’s husband, John Suitor, was a farmer by profession. He worked on land outside Philadelphia belonging to the Stetson family, of hat fame. Rebecca and John travelled between Ireland and America several times. Having made some money, she eventually came home to the farm in Ireland, where she raised her children.
Rebecca and John had three children; Robert John, William and Maggie. Robert John and William were born in Philadelphia in 1902 and 1904 respectively. Maggie was born in Ireland in 1906. Rebecca and John and their two sons had moved back to Ireland to live by then, settling on a farm at Derrymean, near Aughnacloy in County Tyrone. John died in 1909 from pneumonia, aged 49, and Rebecca died in 1956, aged 90. The farm remained in the family until 1968, when it was sold after the death of Robert John.
Rebecca’s daughter Maggie passed the coverlet through the family to Beryl, the wife of William’s son, John, in 1975. Beryl, who lives in Ballygawley, County Tyrone, donated the coverlet to the Ulster American Folk Park in 2003.
Ask an Expert
If you would like further information about this collection you may contact the
curator by following this link and
completing the short form.