Reference Entry

Ballard, Martha Moore

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780195082098
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:
Ballard, Martha Moore

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  • Obstetrics
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  • Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)


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Ballard, Martha Moore (20 February 1735–19 May 1812), midwife and diarist, was born in Oxford, Massachusetts, the daughter of Elijah Moore and Dorothy Learned, farmers and innkeepers. Nothing is known about her early life and education. Though the Learned and Moore families were moderately prosperous, Martha’s mother signed the only document bearing her name with a mark. Martha’s father and grandfathers were town selectmen and militia officers. Her younger brother, Jonathan Moore, was Oxford’s second college graduate and for a time served as librarian of Harvard College. Her uncle Abijah Moore, a graduate of Yale College, and her brother-in-law, Stephen Barton, were physicians. Presumably Martha learned her craft through working with an older midwife in Oxford....

Reference Entry.  945 words. 

Subjects: Obstetrics ; Literature ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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