Saturday, March 27, 2010

GenWeekly, Vol. VII, No. 13

It's Genealogy. It's Weekly. It's GenWeekly. 

March 27, 2010
Elisabeth Lindsay, Editor

All articles are copyright (c) 2009 Genealogy Today, LLC.

This Week's Articles

The original article(s) in this section are available only to subscribers. You can learn about our $9.95 annual subscription at

by Rita Marshall. A discussion of what it takes to earn genealogy certification.

by Alan Smith. Ideas on the first steps toward researching ancestors who made their way to the Pacific Northwest.

Recent News
The Genealogy Guide

In the interest of helping readers gain better insight into genealogical terms, Genealogy Today has created a Genealogy Guide. Each week, GenWeekly features a new term from the continually expanding Genealogy Guide.

A midwife is a person, usually a woman, experienced at assisting women at childbirth. From Middle English, "midwif" means "to assist woman," suggesting a supportive rather than interventional role. The role of midwife dates back to some of the earliest recorded history. Many midwives were also healers, dispensing herbs and other plant medicinals. Once a highly respected position, the role of midwife fell out of favor for a time, with the advent of medical science, as midwives did not always have the benefit of the latest information. Today, trained midwives are a recognized part of the health care profession. It is said midwives are the most common birth attendants in the world.

Historical (social) context is an important aspect of genealogy, Understanding the role of midwife and learning more about how babies were delivered in a certain time and place or within a particular culture may provide researchers with insight into another of the many challenges faced by their ancestors. Researchers may even find a practicing midwife or healer within their own family history. The book, "A Midwife's Tale," by Laura Thatcher Ulrich, is based on the diary of Martha Moore Ballard, a real life Colonial midwife. A film version of the book was presented on the PBS American Experience program.

Archive Articles
For additional reading on the topics covered in this week's newsletter, you may wish to read the following articles from the GenWeekly archive:

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