29 May 2012

Effie Gullett, Boyd County, Kentucky, Midwife 1872 - 1960


Effie Gullett, Boyd County, Kentucky, Midwife
1872 - 1960

Compiled and transcribed by Teresa Martin Klaiber May 2012

Effie was born 20 April 1872, the first child of Fleming Low Brown and wife Sena E. Porter.   She married Henry Allen Gullett [son of James Presley and Susan Ann Fraley Gullett] at  Pleasant Hill School House, Limestone, Carter County, Kentucky on 21 April 1889. 

I am extremely grateful to the Gullett family for sharing pages from the family bible as well as trusting me with ten of Effie’s recorded midwife books between 1920 and 1945.  The genealogy community will benefit tremendously from these wonderful records.

Census records place Henry Allen and Effie in Boyd County beginning in 1900. They are listed as living on Williams Creek, Coalton of Cannonsburg District.  While the district name changes from 1900 thru 1930 the census still indicates they stayed in this area of the county.  Her husband is listed as a coal miner and not one census record indicates that Effie brought countless numbers of Boyd County folk into the world.

Ida Effie Brown Gullett was a midwife in Boyd County more than two and a half decades.  She practiced midwifery in the 1920’s when as many as fifty percent of women gave birth in hospitals.  Living in the southwest section of Boyd County families still found it a comfort to have their babies at home.  Effie practiced into the 1930’s.  By 1930 trained qualified public health nurses practiced midwifery.  Effie followed the protocol filing proper Kentucky Board of Health forms for physicians and signing as midwife.

By 1939 doctors were using “twilight sleep” for deliveries in hospitals. Effie continued in the 1940’s with home deliveries.  By then fifty percent of women and 75 percent of urban women went to hospitals for delivery. 

I have completed digitizing each page of the books entrusted in my care. From dates within the books/booklets there were probably many more births and other little books still tucked away or lost with time. A copy of the digitized records, with permission from the family, will be placed in the Boyd County Public Library for future researchers who wish to utilize them.

A random check of entries show several mis-spellings in the Kentucky State Birth Index.  One child was entered as male when it is clearly a female named Iva [not named Ival].  Another random check shows several filed many years after the initial birth. Other entries could not be located or were filed with a modified given name later.

Some entries are out of sequence in Effie’s books. Entries were written twice and the perforation removed and one copy sent to the state.  A family member says that if a person visited for proof of birth she would tear out the page entry and give it to the person.  There are several pages missing in each book.

Each entry should be checked against an official birth certificate with the State of Kentucky if one is available. 

Book 1920-1923
Surname, Given Name Date of Birth Family Information



Flood, Anna G. 22 Mar 1922 Born Boyd County, Princess #10. Girl. Legitimate. Father Virgil Flood, white, age 25, born Salt Lick, occupation traveling man. Mother's maiden name Amellie Shelton, white, age 25, born Old Princess, housewife. Number of children of this mother 3.
Gullett, Henry Marvin 21 July 1920 Born Boyd Co., Princess #10. Male, legitimate. Father J. W. Gullett, white, 30, born Elliott Co., miner. Mother maiden Eliza Maynard, white, 24, born Pike Co., housewife. Number of child of this mother 2 both living.
Hall, Charl[e]s 1 Mar 1921 Born Boyd Co., Princes #10. Male, legitimate. Father Gaylord Hall, white, 20, born Carter County, miner. Mother maiden Allice Stephens, white, 22, born Boyd Co., housewife. 1st child.
Hall, Way Ward 19 Aug 1922 Born Boyd Co., Princess. Father Claud Hall, white, 24, born KY, miner. Mother maiden name Lillie Stephens, white, 18. First Child. [KY State Index filed as Herman Hall, certificate 48612]
Hicks, Andrew 11 Jan 1920 Born Boyd Co., Geyer Bridge. Male, legitimate. Father Andrew Hicks, white, age 71, born KY, laborer. Mother's maiden name Rebeca Lawson, white, 45, born Boyd Co., housewife. Number of child of this mother 11, living 9. [KY Index mis-read maiden as Elis]
Huff, Coals 29 Apr 1920 Born Boyd Co., Cannonsburg. Male, leigitimate. Father John Huff, white, 56, born Carter Co., farmer. Mother's maiden name Mary Brown, white, 39, born Boyd Co., housewife. Number of child of this mother 8 all living. [KY State Index lists him as Samuel C.]
Kazee, Walter Carlis 5 Dec 1920 Born Boyd Co., Geyer Bridge. Male, legitimate. Father Curtis Kazee, white, no age given, born Boyd Co., miner. Mother maiden Virgie Dove, white, no age given, born Boyd Co., housewife. 1st child.
Kazee, Will Jr. 7 Mar 1923 Born Boyd Co., Cannonsburg. Male. Legitimate. Father Will Kazee, white, age 27, born KY, coal miner. Mother's maiden name Carrie Terry, white, age 19, born KY, housewife. Number of chilfren of this mother 2.
Keeton, Lonnie 11 Apr 1923 Born Greenup County. Male. Legitimate. Father Dan Keeton, white, age 21, born Johnson County, occupation roller. Mother's maiden name Dora Blevins, white, age 21 born Johnson County, housefie. Number of child of this mother 2.
Keffer, Garnet 15 Nov 1922 Born Boyd County, Princess #10. Female. Legitimate. Father Robert Keffer, white, age 31, born Grayson, teamster. Mother's maiden name Minnie Steele, white, age 21, born Olive Hill, housewife. Number of child of this mother 2.
Kirk, William E. 3 Sep 1922 Born Boyd Co., Princess. Father Vint Kirk, white, 27, born Boyd Co., miner. Mother maiden name Bertha Hicks, white, 23, born Boyd Co. 2nd Child. Still birth.
Kitchen, Billie G. 19 Sep 1922 Born Boyd County, Coalton #7. Male. Legitimate. Father Charles Kitchen, white, age 37, born Rush, miner. Mother's maiden name Arael Mcnight, white, age 38, born Flat Woods, Ohio, housewife. Number of child of this mother 7.
Lawson, Helen Charline 17 Nov 1922 Born Boyd County, Princess #10. Female. Legitimate. Father Jessie Lawson, white, age 30 born Boyd County, miner. Mother's maiden name Cora Lee Moore, white, age 30, born Boyd County, housewife. Nubmer of child of this mother 4.
Lawson, Millard 27 May 1922 Born Boyd Co., Princess #10. Male, legitimate. Father Jeff Lawson, white, 44, born KY, miner. Mother maiden name Lyda More, white, 40, born KY, housewife. 9th child, 8 living.
Lawson, Waneda F. 3 May 1920 Born Boyd Co., Geyer Bridge. Female, legitimate. Father Jeff Lawson, white, 41, born Boyd Co., miner. Mother's maiden name Lydia Moore, white, 36, born KY, housewife. Number of child of this mother 8 all living. [State index shows Jaunita F. on 2 May]
Pack, Frank 26 Feb 1921 Born Boyd Co., Princess #10. Male. Legitimate. Father Charl[e]s A. Pack, white, no further information. Mother's maiden name Esta More, no further information.
Stephens, Pauline E. 4 Apr 1922 Born Boyd County, Princess #10. Female, legitimate. Father Lead Stephens, white, age 24, born KY, miner. Mother's maiden name Stella Hall, white, age 19, born KY, housewife. Number of child to this mother 2. Number of children of this mother now living 1.
Terry, Ben Jr. 25 Jan 1922 Born Boyd Co., Princess #10. Male, legitimate. Father B. H. Terry, white, 33, born Carter County, miner. Mother maiden Sarah Stephens, white, 29, born Boyd County, housewife. 3rd child all living.
Terry, Ruby Charline 4 Apr 1921 Born Boyd Co., Princess #10. Female, legitimate. Father William Terry, white, 26, born Boyd Co., day laborer. Mother's maiden name Rosemary Williams, white, 24, born Boyd Co., housewife. Number of child of this mother 2 both living. [KY Index as Raby N.]
Troxel, June 17 Mar 1922 Born Boyd Co., Princess #10. Female, legitimate. Twin 2nd in order of birth. Father Luther Troxel, 27, born KY, Mother maiden Bertha Stephens, white, age 30 [20?] born Boyd Co., housewife. [Record says born 17 Mar. State Index filed 27 Mar. Cert. 11257]
Troxel, Pauline 27 Mar 1922 Born Boyd Co., Princess #10. Female, legitimate. Twin. 1st in order of birth. Father Luther Troxel, white, 27, born KY, miner. Mother maiden Bertha Stepehsn, white, 30 [20?], born Boyd, Co, housewife. 2nd child. Two living. "Still"
Walker, Waneda 11 Feb 1921 Born Greenup Co. Female. Legitimate. Father J. F. Walker, white, 39, farmer. Mother not listed.
Withrow, Burton 14 Oct 1922 Born Boyd Co., Coalton #7. Male, legitimate. Father James Withrow, white, 39, born Carter Co., railroader. Morther maiden name Levia Hall, white, 30, housewife. 6th child with 5 living.

To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. What a treasure!!! Thank you so much for this post...

    ReplyDelete