Archive ID: 1998-032-02

Mary Sertich midwife journal

Date Created: 1922-1923

Donor: Karin Krneta

Media Type: Scrapbook/Album/Diary

Language: Croatian


Mary Smolich Sertich was a mid-wife in Southeast Chicago in the early 20th century. She emigrated to Chicago from Perusic, Croatia in 1909. At that time, she was in her mid-20s and already married with a young child. Between 1912 and the mid-1930s, Mary delivered over 360 babies in the South Deering neighborhood (then known as Irondale). She wrote information about the babies in Croatian in a series of notebooks later donated to the Museum by her grandson’s family. Information includes the names of the babies, mothers, and fathers; where the parents originated from; and the number of childbirths and living children for each mother. This information makes it possible to calculate child mortality rates for this sub-set of immigrant families. Most of the families Mary assisted were fellow immigrants from the Serbo-Croatia region. Mary also had six children of her own, including four with her second husband, Peter Sertich, whom she married a few years after arriving in Chicago. Peter was a Croatian boilermaker at the South Works steel mill, while her son Jack worked at Wisconsin Steel. An English translation of her records may be found on the website; additional records are available at the Museum upon request.

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Community Life   Family   Immigrant Experiences   Mill/Paid Labor   Other   Women’s Experiences   1920-1939 (Depression Era)   South Deering   European Descent   Scrapbook/Album/Diary   1998-032   Books   Croatian   Labor   Nurses   Nursing   Workers  

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