Painting | John Singleton Copley [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In Memory of Ann Eliot, Colonial American Midwife

Ann Eliot (born Hannah Mumford or Mountford) was a midwife in Roxbury, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, during the Colonial era in America. After she died on March 22, 1687, her family, friends, and neighbors commemorated her life by erecting a special monument for her. In a unanimous resolution, they voted to do so: “Mrs. Eliot, for the great service that she hath done this town, will be honored with a burial there.” (qtd. in Gregory 1857, 27). At the time of her death, she had attended more than 3000 births.
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About Author: Jane Beal

Jane Beal, PhD, is a writer, educator and midwife. She has served in homebirth practices in the Chicago, Denver and San Francisco metro areas and in birth centers for at-risk, low-income families in the US, Uganda and the Philippines. She currently teaches at UC Davis.

To learn more about her work, visit and

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