Martha (Moore) Ballard

Martha (Moore) Ballard (1735 - 1812)

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Martha Ballard formerly Moore
Born in Oxford, Worcester County, Massachusettsmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 19 Dec 1754 in Oxford, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Augusta, Kennebec, Mainemap
Profile last modified 3 Nov 2018 | Created 1 Mar 2011
This page has been accessed 1,152 times.




Excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for Martha Ballard:
Ballard was born in Oxford, Massachusetts, to Elijah Moore and Dorothy Learned Moore. She married Ephraim Ballard in 1754. The couple had nine children between 1756 and 1779. They lost three of them to a diphtheria epidemic in Oxford in the summer of 1769. Ballard's obituary was published on May 31, 1812, in Hallowell/Augusta, Maine.
Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, who was also known for her work during the Civil War, was Martha's grand niece. Clara was the granddaughter of Ballard's sister, Dorothy Barton.
Her Diary
Between 1785 and 1812, Martha Ballard kept a diary that recorded her arduous work and domestic life in Hallowell on the Kennebec River, District of Maine. The sometimes cryptic log of daily events, written with a quill pen and homemade ink, records numerous babies delivered and illnesses treated as she traveled by horse or canoe around the Massachusetts frontier in what is today the state of Maine.
After Martha’s death, her diary remained in the care of her daughter Dorothy Lambard, also known as Dolly. When Dolly passed away in 1861, the diary passed to her daughters Sarah Lambard and Hannah Lambard Walcott. In 1884, Sarah and Hannah gave the diary to their niece, Mary Hobart, MD who was 33 years old and had just graduated from medical school. It was also the year that the Massachusetts Medical Society first voted to admit women physicians. The diary of a New England pioneer of medicine had passed to her great-granddaughter, another New England pioneer of medicine. [1]
A Midwife's Tale
For many years historians did not give considerable attention to Martha Ballard's diary, generally dismissing it as repetitive and ordinary. After eight years of research, historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich produced A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard based on her diary, 1785–1812
In 1991, "A Midwife's Tale" received the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, the John S. Dunning Prize, the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women's History, the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize, the Society for Historians of the Early Republic Book Prize, the William Henry Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine, and the New England Historical Association Award. Later, the PBS series "The American Experience" developed "A Midwife's Tale" into a documentary film. PBS also hosts a website with a lot of interesting information about Martha's life and times.


Date: 9 Jun 1812
Place: Augusta, Kennebec, Maine
Source: #S150


  1. Ulrich, Laurel "A Midwife's Tale, The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on her Diary, 1785-1812" Vintage Books 1991
  • Ballard, Martha. Diary. Matha's diary has been made available on DoHistory [1]
  • Ulrich, Laurel "A Midwife's Tale, The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on her Diary, 1785-1812" Vintage Books 1991
  • PBS American Experience: A Midwife's Tale Eighteenth-century America through a woman's eyes. [2]
  • Source S50 Wikipedia contributors, "Martha Ballard," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed February 13, 2014)
  • Source S150 Title: Family Data Collection - Deaths. Author: Edmund West, comp. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001.
  • Source S155 Title: Ancestry Family Trees. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network. Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.

Also See: DoHistory is a wonderful interactive website centered on the life of Martha Ballard. It was developed and maintained by the Film Study Center at Harvard University and is hosted and maintained by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University.


  • Wikitree profile Moore-2231 created through the import of Family Line.ged on 01 March 2011.
  • Wikitree profile Moore-3017 created on 27 March 2011 through the import of fitzmaster032511.ged.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Martha by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Martha:

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Images: 1
"A Midwife's Tale"

Martha is 17 degrees from Cari Starosta, 17 degrees from Marie-Antoinette d'Autriche and 13 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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