Doll's Genealogy Site

Katie Harris-Martin:
A Tuskegee Midwife


Tuskegee Midwives:

Elvira Barrow-Martin
Louise Conaway
Rosetta Day
Katie Harris_Martin
Maria Jackson
Carrie Youngblood

History of Midwifery

Katie Harris Wilson-Martin was a midwife as well as a farm laborer in Alabama. 

It has not been determined when Katie began to midwife, neither who apprenticed her in this endeavor.

Over the years, Katie would deliver babies to a host of relatives and other local families residing in and around Macon County, Alabama.  She met Elvira Barrow-Martin, the wife of her husband’s brother, whom she would apprentice in midwifery. 

Katie was born approximately 1865 in Alabama to Peggy Harris and Houston Wilson.

In 1870, Peggy Harris was residing in the locale of Loachapoka, Lee County, Alabama along with her sons, Alabama, Chance and Benjamin and daughter, Katie.  Living next door were Peggy’s parents, Chance and Melvina Harris.  The father of her children, Houston Wilson, was enumerated a few doors down with his mother, Sylva Wilson.

By 1880 Peggy and Houston had moved to Macon County in the vicinity of Warrior Stand.  The household had increased to include five more children:  Calvin, Houston Jr, Sylvia, Eliza and Governor.

Katie was in her late 20’s when her brother Alabama died.  Soon to follow was the death of her sister-in-law, Della Wilson Harris, wife of Alabama.  It’s possible that Katie may have delivered Alabama and Della’s children:  Hattie, Frank and James Harris who were very young when their parents died and were sent to live with their grandparents, Peggy and Houston Wilson.    

In 1920, Katie and Charlie were still residing in Warrior Stand, living next door to her nephew James Harris and his his wife Hattie Bryant Harris along with their children, Nancy (Loula), Cora Lee, Henry, James and Lillie Bell.

Katie appears as the midwife on the death record (certificate #18287) of a baby girl born premature on August 14, 1934 to John Buchanan and Bessie Harris.  By  now, Katie was approximately 64 years old.

It has not been determined when Katie died.  Based on oral history and other related documents, it is possible that she passed away prior to 1940.




Created:  11/03/05 || Online:  07/18/06