January 1 1812: Martha Ballard

January 1, 1812

On January 1, 1812, a wednesday, Martha Ballard wrote in her diary:

Cloudy and some rain. Epm Conducted his grand pah & I to Capt Pitss, we found his famely allmost Sick with Colds. Charls Coxes wife there. we went from there to Judg Norths to an Evng Lecture. Revd mr Tappin performd. the Text Romans XIII C vers 11th. we returnd home before 9h Evn.

at Judg Norths to Lecture. a mr Deans here from New Sharon.

Martha Moore Ballard (1734/1735-1812) was born in Oxford, Massachusetts to Dorothy and Elijah Moore. In 1754, she married Ephraim Ballard, a miller and surveyor, who appears to have had some Tory sympathies that caused him trouble after the American Revolution. Martha Ballard is now remembered because of her diary where she recorded her life as a midwife and healer from the age of fifty to her death. She had nine children, three of whom died in 1769 from the diphtheria epidemic.

The tweets about her are taken from her diary which can be found in the DoHistory website. This website contains a copy of Martha’s diary and a useful transcription.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, her biographer, notes in her A Midwife's Tale that Martha’s diary records that Martha, as midwife, was involved in 816 deliveries performed between 1785 and 1812, the last year of her life.

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