I love some of the questions that I get asked. Sometimes the answer is easy. But every so often you get a question that stretches your knowledge – not just your knowledge of the material but also your knowledge of where to even look for the material. This past week I received two of those types of questions.
One of the questions that I received last week was how common, painful and risky were c-sections in the 1940s? We couldn’t find much information on this. It appears that Dr. Mewburn performed the first c-section in Lethbridge in 1903. The surgery was said to be successful. But we could not find records of how many c-sections were performed in the 1940s. The person who emailed us was hoping to find out so she could include the information in a memoir about her Grandmother.
[As a strange side-note, a few days after I received this email, the Archives received an email from a genealogist in New Zealand who was looking for information on a family in Lethbridge. By some strange coincidence, the name he was looking for was the same last name as the person who emailed me regarding the c-section. Now we’re trying to find if it is all actually one family (especially since it is not a common family name).]
I also was contacted by someone wanting to find information on Hazel LeRoy Wallace. Don’t let the name fool you (it did fool quite a few people because in 2 of the 3 censuses I found, Hazel was reported as female). Hazel Wallace, born in Lethbridge in the 1890s, was a World War I ACE. The person who contacted me was trying to get more information on him. We know Hazel lived here with his family from his birth through the First World War (we have some great pictures of him with his church group and the like). Unfortunately, it seems that Hazel only lived in this area for 4 or 5 years following the war and then moved (possible to B.C.?) so we were only able to provide some of the information. We could not find an obituary or place of death. Hopefully the researcher will have more luck in B.C.
If you can add to our knowledge on either of those two questions, please get in touch with us and we’ll pass it along to the researchers.