Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Will searching through some medical journals I ran across this first note on midwife's and found it interesting.  When searching for surnames I look into books and many different kinds of records, but I never thought of the subject of midwifing.  I looked in many medical journals and found a lot of cases on the midwife's however hardly any names were given only what went right or wrong.

When reaching more I found that there were hundreds if not thousands of books and articles written of the subject of the midwife.  I found it would take me weeks if not months to compile a list of names.  So I will leave the subject with these few names.  I hope these few names will peck your interest and make you want to look into it more. 

Margaret Cobbe, who officiated at the birth of King Edward V. in 1470, and received a salary of £10 per annum as royal midwife, which appears to have been .the usual sum granted at that period ; the same having been given in 1503, to Alice Massy, midwife to the Queen of Henry VII. Women in this capacity also received perquisites in the form of money and presents at weddings and baptisms ; but the fees paid by private parties for services were usually ridiculously small.

Catherine "Kate" Cruikshank was born on 14 February 1837 in Lee County, Iowa. Her father, Alexander, was a native of Norway, while her mother, Keziah (Perkins) Cruikshank, came from Kentucky. The family included seven children. From a biography of James Cruikshank, Kate's older brother, we know that the Cruikshank children had access to several years of schooling and were raised as Methodists. In 1864, one month before her twenty-seventh birthday, Kate married Samuel Dunlap, an Ohio native. He was thirty-eight and had worked as a teacher at the Indiana Deaf and Dumb Asylum. Three months after their marriage the couple left Iowa for Bannack City, Montana Territory. Although mining conditions were quite favorable in Montana in the 1860s, the Dunlaps operated a drug store. Samuel also worked as a stock raiser, and Kate taught at a subscription school in Nevada City. Kate bore seven children before Samuel died in 1878, only fourteen years after their marriage. Kate remained with her children in Bannack, Montana, for five more years before moving to Junction, Idaho, in 1883. She operated a drug store and also worked as a midwife and practical nurse. She died in 1901 and was buried at Salmon, Idaho.

A Mr. Lawson Parker Fairfax County, wife Dorcan or Dorchas, sometimes acted as midwife for George Washington slaves.

Thomas Bishop wife sometimes served as midwife for the slaves and servants on the Mount Vernon plantations.

Catherine Skinner, Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County, Colorado, was a will known midwife of the 1800's.

Sarah Owenes against the estate of William Christian.
Bill for the amount of 0-15-0 (fifteen shillings) owed to midwife Sarah Ow[enes] for delivering the child of William Christian's slave Pole [Polly?] in May 1792; statement and receipt signed by Robert Mosby and James Lock January 4, 1793; [page 2] January 2, 1793, request from Sar[ah] Owenes to Richard Woo[lfo]lk for payment.

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