At the moment the project will potentially cover the years 1880 to 1940, so if you have a relative that was a private midwife (by private I mean not associated with a large public hospital) and have information to share, please get in touch. I'm particularly interested in photographs of the women, their homes, families etc. and any documents, diaries etc. that detail their day-to-day work, for example journals or registers of patients, fees charged, places/locations they travelled to, or in fact any records they kept.
Is your Great-Gran or Great-Great Gran on this list? If so, I'd like to hear from you!
Mrs A. Henry
Nurse ? McDonald
Isabel McIntosh (known as Sister Clare)
Nurse ? Leet
Nurse ? Thurston
Nurse M. Ward
Nurse ? Harris
Mary Ann O'Byrne (known as Molly)
Matron A.M. O'Hara
Nurse ? Winkworth
As you can see from the list, some of these women don't even have a first name listed. After some painstaking research I have been able to dig up the first names of many of them, but it's still a work in progress. I have concentrated my research on the Townsville midwives so far, which is why I don't have many names yet for the other areas. Thank you to those who have already contacted me with information. Please feel free to get in touch again if you like. I can be contacted on email@example.com
The height of private midwifery services (at least in the Townsville region) seems to have been from around 1900 to about mid-1930s. After that time, more and more women were giving birth in the public hospital and the services of private midwives became increasingly obsolete.
*For the purposes of my research, I'd like to include towns/cities such as Bowen, Ayr, Home Hill, Charters Towers, Pentland, Ingham, Cardwell, and potentially Cairns and surrounds as well.
Further reading on this topic: