Midwives of Harris



I wasn’t expecting to find too many Midwives in the censuses but I was very surprised when only six individual women appeared in them.

Of course, it is possible that several others are missing due to non-reporting, but that would raise the question as to why these particular ladies chose to be recorded?

1841 (none discovered)

1851
Catherine Mackay, 70, Kendulavick, Mid Wife & Weaveress, husband and daughter
Christian Morrison, 62, Kyles Stockinish, husband and unmarried daughter.

1861 (none discovered)

1871
Rachel Martin, 53, Tarbert Hotel, husband Angus (a tailor), 2 daughters and a visiting weaveress

1881
Christina Kerr, 56, Little Borve, Son-in-law (retired grocer), 1 month-old grandchild, & others
Flora Martin, 74, Scalpay, Mid Wife, husband’s daughter-in-law with her two children
Rachel Martin, 62, West Tarbert, husband Angus and 14 year-old ‘stepson’, more likely grandchild

1891
Effie Campbell, 70, Scaristavore, Son-in-law (Road Foreman), 10 grandchildren
Rachel Martin, 70, West Tarbert with husband Angus

1901
Rachel Martin, 80, North Harris, Mid Wife and her granddaughter

Two of these midwives are already ‘known’ to me:

Christina Kerr (M.S. Maclennan) and her husband, Roderick Kerr, a Joiner, were the parents of John Kerr, the Minister at Scarista perhaps better known as ‘Ayatollah Kerr’ in ‘Crowdie & Cream’.
The family appear to have been resident in Little Borve from at least 1861.

Rachel Martin’s husband, Angus Martin from Direcleit, was my ‘3rd great granduncle’.
In 1861 the family were in East Tarbert. The 5 children included 3 from Rachel’s first marriage.

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