Unbound book of folded paper leaves containing a range of sewing and knitting samples, produced by Anne Trotter in 1840 at the Female Free School in Collon, County Louth in Ireland. Anne dated the book February 20 September 1840 on the inside cover which would make her 19 years old when she made the sample book.

Anne was a 'bounty' migrant from a large family and would have travelled with modest belongings. Finding room for the specimen book demonstrates its importance to her, as a connection to home, her childhood and her learned skills. The book has been handed down to the women in the family over the generations, showing its continued value as a precious family heirloom, until the book was donated to the Museum by Anne Trotter's great, great, great granddaughter.

Anne (also listed in public records as Ann) was born in Collon on 7 June 1820, daughter of Annie Davison (born in 1784 in Lisball, County Cavan, Ireland) and Joseph Trotter (born 1780 in County Cavan). She was the sixth of eight children (her youngest sister Rebecca died four days after birth) and the family were Protestants. She migrated to Australia on the barque the 'Dale Par'k, departing from Cork on 30 February 1844 and leaving London for Port Phillip on 21 July 1844 having arrived first in Gravesend on the 21 March. Anne was accompanied by her older brother Joseph (born 1809) and his wife Mary, and Anne's younger sister Eliza (born 1826). Anne is listed as being 23 years old, a domestic and travelled as a 'bounty' migrant. The family were travelling to meet their parents who were already living in Geelong. Records suggest that another brother also came to Victoria and one of her older sisters Maria migrated to Canada.

Anne married George Thomas Windsor and had two children - John Thomas, born in 1850 in Duneed near Geelong (who married Bridget Francis Nugent), and Elizabeth Jane, born in 1854 in Duneed (who married William Fleming). The family remained in the Victorian region west of Geelong around Mt Duneed, Colac and Camperdown. Her parents died in Colac in 1866 (Annie) and 1867 (Joseph). Her husband George died in 1893 in Barwon Victoria and Anne on 22 January 1910 in Victoria. She is buried at Mt Moriac west of Geelong.

Physical Description

Unbound book of folded paper leaves containing a range of sewing and knitting samples. Many pages and fabric pieces are discoloured and/or torn.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This beautiful object is a fine example of the sample books young girls produced in many countries to learn a variety of needlework techniques. It crosses themes of migration, gender, childhood, domesticity, handcrafts, and education.

More Information