Lydia Parkington is the late mother of Samantha Parkington.
Lydia (née Edwards) died roughly four years before the start of the series in the summer of 1900 with her husband in a boating accident at Teardrop Island when Samantha was five years old, which is why Samantha initially lives with Grandmary. However, she and her memory has a major influence on the series. She is described as having light brown curls, blue eyes, and fair skin. Samantha keeps an image of her and her husband in the locket she pins to her clothes.
She was an accomplished artist and painted many images of Piney Point and Samantha as a younger child.
In The Books
Meet Samantha: An American Girl
Samantha names her doll Lydia, after her mother.
Happy Birthday, Samantha!: A Springtime Story
Grandmary gives Samantha a circlet that belonged to Lydia for her birthday.
Samantha Saves The Day: A Summer Story
Samantha, Agnes, and Agatha discover Lydia's sketchbook in the attic at Piney Point.
Lydia can be seen in a photograph along with her mother and brother in the background of one of the illustrations by Luann Roberts.
Samantha gives Cornelia Lydia's wedding veil after Cornelia's veil is damaged.
In The Film
Lydia is, like in the books, dead before the start of the movie. However, the story is changed so that she and her husband died boating on the river next to the house and afterwards, the boathouse on the property was closed. Samantha wears the locket around her neck with a picture of her mother and father inside.
Samantha keeps items belonging to and images of Lydia in the boathouse as no one but her goes in there. The discovery of these items prompts Grandmary to consider sending Samantha to live with Uncle Gard.
Grandmary relates a story about Lydia having a kitten named Mabel whom she loved; when the kitten went missing, Lydia placed the kitten's possessions in the boathouse, much like Samantha has done.
- Despite not having an appearance in the books and in the film, she does make an appearance in Samantha's sketchbook, in a sketch Lydia drew back in 1897.