Thursday, February 28, 2013

Childbirth in the 18th Through 20th Centuries

Public Service Announcement:  I write the blog posts in advance.  I usually have at least 4 or 5 blog posts ready to go in case something happens like I get sick or tied up with a big project.  Sometimes when I publish a blog post I might say that I am going to do something but I have actually already done it.  For example, when I posted Who is Green B. Gordon? I stated that I needed to get the land entry files for the two pieces of property that I mentioned.  I have someone that pulls records for me at NARA and I get them FAST.  By the time I actually posted this story I already had the land entry files.  This blog is geared toward beginners and intermediates so I jump on situations that will be a good learning opportunity.  In this case it would have served no purpose to mention that I already had the files.  When I wrote the post I did not have them.  The point was that I needed the actual land entry files and not just the patents. 

When this post published, someone on Google+ stated that I needed to get the land entry files from NARA.  She apparently didn’t see that I stated that I had already ordered them.  I responded back that I had just received them.  The poster seemed to be a little put off that I had the files in my possession but didn’t say so in the blog post.  I then explained that the posts are usually written several days before they are published and in the meantime I had received the files.  Again, she seemed a bit put off.  I have deleted the conversation so that this person can’t be identified.  She is certainly entitled to her opinion.  Since this was a concern for her I thought it would be best if I clarified the purpose of the blog and how and when I post in case someone else has similar concerns. When I want to add something to a blog post that I have already written I do it in the form of a “public service announcement” like I did today.

In case you are interested, the land entry files had a lot of great info but unfortunately there was nothing that helped identify Green B. Gordon.  I have been looking at the federal and state census records to get a basic outline of his life before I delve into things like the tax records.  Perry county is a burned county (1877) as was its parent county, Greene (1875), so I am a little limited.  I do not have any real answers yet.    One thing that I did learn was that the second land transaction, the one after James Sr. died, actually occurred on 14 Nov 1817 so this is definitely James Sr. and not James Jr.  It took them a while to get the patent issues (1849). 

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

I needed some background information about women dying in childbirth in the 19th century when I came across these two books:

If you want to get some insight into what your female ancestors had to go through, you need to read these.  I am a nurse and it was still an eye opener for me.  These books are definitely not for the faint of heart.  The first one focuses on the experience more from the point of view of the mother and the second focuses more on the point of view of the midwife/doctor.  You will definitely look at your female ancestors in a different light.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. I think you misunderstood me, Michelle. I do not normally read your blog. I don't read very many blogs at all. I only saw what came through on Google + The entry with the land question was at the very top of my feed. There was nothing in that entry in the feed that said you'd already gotten the file. Maybe on the blog it said something somewhere else, but since I was only reading from Google+ I saw nothing there. I did not try to look for other posts of yours that might have continuing information. But since this was at the top, I would not assume there was any follow-up information. I perhaps should not have put that in, because it would be neither here nor there for you to worry about me not posting anymore. I was only "put off" by the fact that I had spent the time answering a question that didn't need to be answered. So I wasn't at all "put off" in general or at you or your blog, but I think it's good that people know what your purposes are for your blog. I am glad to know.

    I was not put off. You misunderstood. I even put a little smiley in my comment. It was just that I took the time to explain to you because I thought you really wanted to know. I don't really have a lot of time. I said what I did about not answering questions on your blog any more because I would assume that they were rhetorical. I'm sorry that you misunderstood and thought I was "put off." I try to spend my time where I think it is best spent, and answering questions to people who are using the questions as learning opportunities for others is not where i want to spend my time. I was just explaining things from my end, and I'm sorry that you took that to be "put off."

  2. I am glad I misunderstood but I don't want you to think that I took any offense. It made me think that I should probably explain that I do write the posts in advance. This practice comes from the days when I wrote a weekly newspaper column and I had to be 4 or 5 columns ahead.

    After reading your comment I could see how it was possible that information that I posted in the blog could be outdated by something else that I posted in another blog because I don't necessarily post them in the exact order that I write them. Right now I have 4 blog posts ready to go and I am writing another one today. I won't know until tomorrow which will I will post so you can see that it is possible for things to get out of order if I am talking about the same subject in more than more post.

    I am glad you took the time to read the blog and your comment gave me the opportunity to explain some behind the scenes things.

    Michele :)