Saturday, October 18, 2014

52 Ancestors #38: Mary Brennan: Maidstone Midwife

Until well into this century, most Canadians were born at home and the only professional hand guiding their arrival into the world was the midwife's. This blog post is about my Great Great Grandmother Mary (Brennan) Moynahan who was a midwife in Essex county, Ontario.

Mary was born in Ireland in 1841. When she was twelve years old (1853) she came with her parents John Brennan (1819-1881) and Catherine (Bowler) Brennan (1819-1891) to Canada and they settled in Sandwich South.

L to R: Jeremiah, John, Ellen (Nellie) and Mary (Brennan) Moynahan
Mary Brennan
b: 1841 Ireland
d:21 June 1926
Essex, Ontario
In November 1863, Mary married Jeremiah ("Jerry") Moynahan.
  • In the 1871 census, the family (John, Mary and children Ellen and John) lived in Sandwich East
  • In the 1881 census the family (John, Mary and children Ellen, John, Margaret and Mary) lived in Sandwich East. (John and Catherine Brennan are in the index as well)
Mary and Jerry had nine children.

Jerry and Mary resided on their farm on Talbot Street ("a mile west of the Cross") from 1863 to 1921 when "with their daughter Nellie they moved to Windsor". 

When Mary lived in Maidstone she was a midwife to many women according to family oral history.

Here is an interesting video link o midwives: Midwife | Historica Canada

In November 1913, Mary and Jerry celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and the family reunion was recorded in the Essex Free Press.

Essex Free Press
Nov 21, 1913
Copy of undated photo of Mary and Jerry Moynahan on their Maidstone farm

On June 21 , 1926 Mary passed away in the morning at her home at 432 Hall Ave. Windsor

St Mary's cemetry
Maidstone, Ontario

Obituary: Mary Moynahan

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