May 13, 2016

Pre-Civil War Quilt Found in Sicily Island

From an article published in the Concordia Sentinel on November 30, 1994:


Pre-Civil War quilt found in Sicily Island

A very old quilt, pre-dating the Civil War, was found recently by Mrs. David (Theresa) Stafford IV, of Sicily Island, between the springs of a bed which had been passed down through the Stafford Family.

Concordia Sentinel - 11/30/1994

No one seems to know the exact route this quilt has taken before surfacing some 136 years since it was made.

The pattern seems to be what today might be called a friendship quilt, where each person who makes a square signs his name.

Although many of the names are illegible, some are still quite clear.

The names, hometowns and dates which are readable include:  Mrs. L. O. Lovelace of Sicily Island; Mrs. Bettie B. Peck of Sicily Island; Mrs. W. L. Ditto, December 20, 1858; G. Holstein, October 26, 1858; Carrie, October, 1848; and Jane, December 1858.

This quilt with its authentic signatures and dates bespeaks the early history of Sicily Island, for the Lovelace brothers are reputed to be the first permanent settlers on the island.

The two brothers arrived in 1776, secured a Spanish land grant and built their first home, a crude log structure near the heart of a lake.  That lake is still occasionally referred to as Lake Lovelace.

By 1798 John Lovelace had built a better home for his family, which today is known as Ferry Place.  He reared 12 children, all of whom lived on the island.

Eventually a grandson, also named John Lovelace, inherited the property and lived there with his wife, Louisa Holstein.  They both died in 1826, leaving behind a son, another John Lovelace.

This third John Lovelace was married to Patience Kirkland, daughter of Zachariah Kirkland.

Zachariah Kirkland lived at Pine Hill Plantation which he bought from John Bowie (brother of Jim Bowie) in 1825.

John and Patience had three daughters, Florence Celeste, who married William Smith Peck I; Amy, who married Capt. Dave Stafford; and Harriet, who never married.

Although there are many descendants of the original Lovelace brothers living in Sicily Island today, there were very few male heirs, so Lovelace as a last name has disappeared from the area.

Lovelace descendants include Peck, Holstein, Enright, Stafford, Peniston, York, Krause, Doniphan and others.


There are only two names that I can confirm, Mrs. Bettie B. Peck and Mrs. W. L. Ditto.

Mrs. Bettie B. Peck was Elizabeth Bettie Smith.  She was born on December 31, 1839 and died on October 7, 1871.  Per the Peck family Bible, Bettie married John Gilman Peck, Sr. on December 9, 1857.  She and her husband are buried in the Old Peck Cemetery near Sicily Island.

Mrs. W. L. Ditto was Levinia Holstein.  She was born in 1835 to the marriage of David Gibson Holstein and Camilla C. Lightner.  On January 31, 1855 Levinia married William Lego Ditto, Jr. in Catahoula Parish.

The other four names are questionable.

Mrs. L. O. Lovelace 
I do not have a record of a Lovelace male with initials L. O.

G. Holstein
Numerous Holstein men shared the middle name of Gibson.
Celeste E. Hooter, daughter of Nancy Lovelace and Michael Hooter, was married to King Gibson Holstein circa 1823.  G. Holstein could stand for Mrs. K. G. Holstein.  
As mentioned above, Levinia Holstein was the daughter of David Gibson Holstein and Camilla C. Lightner, so this could possibly be Camilla aka Mrs. D. G. Holstein.

Possibly Caroline "Carrie" Narcissa Desha who was born circa 1838; making her only 10 years old when the quilt was made.  She was the first wife of David Stafford.  This could explain the quilt being handed down through the Stafford family over the years.

Possibly Jane Catherine Lovelace who was born in 1814 to the marriage of George Washington Lovelace and Sophia Dorcas Wells.  She married Benjamin Philip Cuny circa 1832.

If anyone has information on the location of the original quilt and/or the names in question, please leave a comment in the comment section below or email me at

1 comment:

  1. That would be so wonderful to be able to locate the quilt and I would love to see a picture of it.