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Elizabeth (Smith) Smith-Shortt MD (1859 - 1949)

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Elizabeth Smith-Shortt MD formerly Smith
Born in Winona, Hamilton, Wentworth, Canada Westmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married in Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canadamap
Died in Ottawa, Ontario, Canadamap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Jun 2016
This page has been accessed 95 times.

Categories: Ontario Medical Figures.


Elizabeth (Smith) Smith-Shortt MD is/was a significant Ontarian .

Elizabeth Smith-Shortt, the daughter of Sylvester Smith and Damaris McGee, was an early Canadian feminist and one of the first three women physicians to practice in Canada.

She opened her practice in Hamilton in 1884. Two years later, she married Queen's professor Adam Shortt and moved to Kingston, where she became a lecturer and later professor in medical jurisprudence at the Women's Medical College. Their three children, Muriel, George and Mary, were born in Kingston.

When Adam Shortt became Canada's first civil service commissioner, the family moved to Ottawa. Elizabeth lent her voice to numerous women's causes and served as vice-president of the National Council of Women.[1] She was largely responsible for organizing a hostel for women immigrants and for convening a committee to petition the provincial government to establish Mother's Allowances. When this was accomplished in 1920, she was appointed vice-chairman of the Provincial Board of Mother's Allowances, a position she held for seven years.[2]

Books and Articles on Elizabeth Smith-Shortt

  • Sheryl Ann Stotts, “Becoming Indispensable: A Biography of Elizabeth Smith Shortt" (1859-1949), PhD diss., York University (Canada), 2002.
  • Peter E. Paul Demski, “An English, Protestant, Upper-Canadian Feminist on the Grand Tour: Elizabeth Smith Shortt in Great Britain and Europe, 1911,” Journal of Canadian Studies v. 28, iss. 4 (Winter 1993-94): 72-87.
  • Elizabeth Smith Shortt, A Woman with a Purpose: the Diaries of Elizabeth Smith, 1872-84, edited with an introduction by Veronica Strong-Boag (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980)


  1. The Canadian Encyclopedia
  2. University of Waterloo, Special Collections

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Elizabeth 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 Elizabeth:

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Elizabeth is 17 degrees from Claude Monet, 20 degrees from Gigi Tanksley and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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