Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Newberry Library

I recently emailed the Newberry Library reference department. I asked if they knew if nurses needed a license in the early 1900's. Both of my great grandparents, Charles and Katherine Ball were nurses. Well, according to family stories they were both doctors and that may have been true in their homeland of Germany. However, according to the Chicago City Directories from 1892 to 1917, Charles and Katherine listed their occupations as nurses. Of course I wondered if they did work as nurses, would they need a license?
Today, I received a very kind reply from a reference librarian at Newberry Library. It seems that there are actually records of licensed nurses from the late 19th century and the 20th century! They are located at the Illinois State Archives! Here are the register numbers:

Register: Record number 208.018, REGISTER OF LICENSED MIDWIVES, 1877-1930 and

Register: Record number 208.019, REGISTER OF LICENSED NURSES, 1909-1952.

This afternoon I sent a snail mail letter to the Illinois State Archives asking for any information that they may have on Charles and Katherine Ball. I also sent them a check for any copies that they could make for me of whatever they may find. You can bet I'm going to be running to the mail box checking to see what kind of reply I get!

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The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!