Brenda: When the book "Legacy" by Nancilu Burdick, who is John's cousin was published, we carried a copy for my mother-in-law to read, because John had given her information and helped her with the book.
So as she looked through the pictures in the book, she just looked at me and said "We have a quilt like this," [which John and I] had never seen. And I said, "We have a quilt like this!"... It was the magnolia leaf. So she proceeded to go into her hall and to take out a box of about 30 quilts, tops, quilted quilts, just amazing and the magnolia leaf was there and it was indeed identical to the one that was in the book.
We had been married probably 20 years at that time. I'd not seen the quilts, not heard anything about the quilts, they had never been mentioned, so it was total amazement that all of a sudden she was bringing them out of this box that we had walked by thousands of times.
We found [the quilts] in February of 1989. We didn't realize then the importance of it but my mother-in-law passed away suddenly on March 2 of 1989, so only for a couple of weeks, we would have missed talking to her about the quilts.
John Lynch: Well, I'm an amateur genealogy buff and I've researched my family and I know a good bit about my great grandmother. She was born in Fayette County (Georgia) in 1854 just before the Civil War. She married my great grandfather in 1872. He was a Confederate veteran. There was plenty of work to do back in those days and they had a sawmill, they had a winery that they made and sold wines to local people. My great grandfather was responsible for keeping the bridge up over the river, Dixon's bridge and they just had all sorts of things that they had to do and it's just amazing to me that my great grandmother had time to make quilts and they were just busy with the farm.
She experienced quite a bit of tragedy during her life so I guess that's one thing that stuck in my mind when I was looking at these quilts, that she was able to express herself through these quilts even though she had all this tragedy in her life.
There's no way that you can replace something that a simple lady put her heart and soul into and they're just irreplaceable family heirlooms is the only way I can put it in words.