Thursday, February 7, 2013

THE QUILT INDEX: Lester Cutler

t all started with my reading the excellent article entitled “25 Websites for Locating Your Female Ancestor” by Gena Philibert-Orega in Tracing Your Female Ancestors ( Incidentally, Gena was one of my professors at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (  In this article, Gena discusses The Quilt Index (, a website about “vintage quilts and their makers." (1)  

On the home page of The Quilt Index, I entered the surname Cutler and got 13 results. On this list I saw the name Lester B. Cutler, the only man on the list.  His quilt, called Postage Stamp (with an Alternate name of "Steps to the Altar"), is located at the Michigan State University Museum. The quilt date is 1930-1949, and the owner of the quilt was Annajeanelle McInnis, Vassar, Tuscola, Michigan. (2) See:

I have a Lester Cutler in my tree who is my 1st cousin 3X removed; my Lester was from Michigan. Unfortunately, my Lester had an “M” for a middle initial, not a “B.” Out of curiosity, I did some research on him anyway.

I learned that Lester M. Cutler was a staff sergeant in the Army during World War II. His home on record was Van Buren County, Michigan. (3) Lester died in England on 21 April 44 during World War II (4) when his aircraft crashed during a practice mission. (5)  He is buried in England at the Cambridge American Cemetery, which contains 129 100th Bomb Group graves. (6) Lester is listed on the National Gold Star Family Registry (

On, I learned that Lester enlisted on 16 September 1942 in the Air Corps. He had four years of high school and was a skilled mechanic and repairman. He was single, without dependents, 65 " tall and weighed 161 lbs. (7)

So who is the Lester Cutler who made quilts??  

My next step is to contact the Great Lakes Quilt Center in East Lansing, Michigan ( to see if I can get more information on Lester B. Cutler’s background. It is possible that he too belongs in my tree.

The irony of this story is that, in trying to find female ancestors, I discovered more about a male ancestor. It is so easy to let serendipity take over when you are doing genealogical research!


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Women Illustrations, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Dover's Greatest Clips, 2010.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, East Meets West Art Deco Motifs, 2010.


(1) Philibert-Ortega, Gena, "25 Websites for Locating Your Female Ancestor," "Tracing Your Female Ancestors," Moorshead Magazines Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2013, p. 16.

(2) Cutler, Lester B.. Postage Stamp. 1930-1949. From Michigan State University Museum, Michigan Quilt Project. Published in The Quilt Index, accessed: 02/6/2013.

(3) Lester M. Cutler - Vanburen, MI (Staff Sergenant) WWII, WarMemorial.US, page was last modified on 3 June 2011,,_MI_(STAFF_SERGEANT)_WWII: accessed 02/06/2013, primary source The National Archives (

(4) 100th Bomb Group (Heavy), The Bloody Hundredth accessed 02/06/2013.

(5) "2nd Lt. Myron D. Richmond," 100th Bomb Group Foundation, accessed 02/06/2013.

(6) Ibid, 100th Bomb Group (Heavy).

(7) "U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,"
entry for Lester M Cutler," Digital image, ( accessed 02/06/2013), Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

1 comment:

  1. Being an amateur quilter myself, I really enjoyed browsing through the quilt index a while back. I need to check out the updates, thanks for the reminder!