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Cumberland County
GenWeb

Joggins & Vicinity Births
attended by
Dr.Rockwell during 1886-1900

Introduction & Background

Between about 1886 and 1930, Dr. William Rockwell practiced medicine and dispensed drugs in the River Hebert/Joggins area of Cumberland county. The Public Archives of Nova Scotia (PANS) collection includes his day books for the years 1886 to 1930. These volumes record the doctor's daily transactions, mainly visits to patients and payments received. The records can be found in PANS MG 3, volumes 1855 to 1864. They are in original format and have not been microfilmed .

I have examined all of the records from July, 1886 to the end of December, 1900 and extracted all of the entries that appear to be birth records. The usual entry notation was "to attend wife in accouchement", later shortened to just "to attend wife". Correspondence preserved within the ledgers, as well as comparing the dates to known births indicate that the assumption is correct. Undoubtedly a few erroneous entries have crept in. Corrections would be most appreciated.

Because these are accounting records and not patient files, there is less information than other sources consulted by genealogists. Only about five of the 879 entries list a woman's name (presumably the Mother). The Doctor used these account books to keep track of his billing records, not the names of his patients and it would be the Husband who most often paid he bill.

The column headings are largely self-explanatory. The volume and page numbers refer to the specific account book the entry will be found in. I have done my best to decipher the surnames, the handwriting is far from clear. The location is only rarely specified in the original record. In an attempt to make the records more useful, I have cross-referenced the names against the Cumberland county listings in McApline's provincial directories for 1890-97, 1896, and 1902.

As noted above, the records continue until 1930 but I have stopped at 1900 because the size of the database was becoming unwieldy and because beyond the 1901 census, there is no easy way to determine the names of the children whose births are recorded.

This file may be freely copied and distributed in any format provided that credit is given to the original compiler. Please let me know if any errors are found.

Jonathan H. Davidson

Halifax, Nova Scotia July 30, 1997

davidson@dbis.ns.ca http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~ab443/genealog.html