James Young Simpson was born in Bathgate, Linlithgowshire, Scotland on June 7th, 1811. He was the youngest child of David Simpson (1760-1830), a baker, and his wife Mary (Jarvey) Simpson (d.1820).
His mother was of Huguenot descent.
Simpson married Janet (Jessie) Grindlay on December 26th 1839. They had 9 children.
After his death in May, 1870 his family was offered a burial spot in Westminster Abbey, but his they chose to bury him closer to home in Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh.
In 1838 he designed the Air Tractor, the earliest known vacuum extractor for assisting in childbirth. He also improved the design of obstetric forceps.
Simpson was the leading advocate of obstetric anaesthesia. Simpson discovered the anaesthetic properties of Chloroform in 1847 and successfully introduced it for general medical use.
"Scotland, Marriages, 1561-1910," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XY95-GHX : accessed 04 Nov 2014), James Young Simpson and Janet Grindlay, 26 Dec 1839; citing Saint Cuthberts,Edinburgh,Midlothian,Scotland, reference ; FHL microfilm 1066765.
"England and Wales, Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005", index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/2DZZ-XMY : accessed 04 Nov 2014), James Young Simpson, 1839.
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