Christina MacGillivray (Smith) Midwife 7 Mile Road

Christina was born on Jan 31, 1890 to Daniel Smith and Mary (Wardman), she married Angus Joseph MacGillivray of Seven Mile Road and had 11 children with him. Her daughter Mary recalls that her grandmother would have been involved in Midwifery and that is how her mother got her start at it by watching and learning. Christina would sometimes be gone for days when children were being born, Mary remembers that in the months of January and February one year there were seven babies born on the Seven Mile Road, all delivered by her mother. If the Doctor knew it was Christina there helping deliver the baby he would not feel the need to hurry as Christina was quite experienced and could turn babies, stitch up mothers and such.

 

She delivered most of the children born on the Seven Mile during her time there until they started going to the hospitals, she delivered all of my great grandfather James E. Rice’s children. No one had any money back in that day so James E. Rice was the local Vet in the area and would barter his Vet services in exchange for her delivering his children. Christina would often tear up clothing that her children had outgrown to make sleepers for the babies when they were born because during the depression people had nothing. Christina went up and down the Seven Mile Road in the worst conditions of the winter to assist with the births and when she got home she would have to start cooking and baking for her own eleven children until her girls were old enough to help out. She delivered a few babies off Island and a few around the States as well and she delivered several sets of twins and a few sets of triplets in her time. During her time she was a very important part of the Medical Services in the early years.

 

Written By Betty-Anne Acorn from the memories of Mary Anstie

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