I’ve heard for a long time about one female doctor in my family lineage: my grandfather’s cousin. I had hoped to find more about her before I wrote this post but I’m finding the story already very interesting and can always follow up if I get more. For example, I hope to locate photos of her.
Two siblings in a family of twelve children who lived on a farm near Detroit in the 1800s went to China to be missionaries. One was my great-grandfather, Junius. The other was his sister Louisa. They and their spouses were teachers there.
Leila Louise Doolittle, my grandfather’s cousin, was born in New York in 1875 to Louisa Judson and Justus Doolittle.
Some history from mission records: “In 1902 the Kuling Medical Mission was organized for the purpose of caring for the sick … Together with the growth of the foreign settlement, the Medical Mission grew and prospered, and in 1909 land was purchased on which three years later a building was erected with accommodations for a chapel, a dispensary, and for about twenty men patients. A few years later another piece of property was secured for a Women’s Hospital, and in 1920 a building was erected on this site as a memorial to the late (Mrs.)
Leila Berkin, M.D. who personally planned and carried on the work for the first ten years of the Kuling Medical Mission.”
Leila died in China in 1915, leaving behind two children, ages 10 and 11. Since Leila married an Englishman in China, and when he remarried, it was to an Englishwoman, that branch of our family ended up back in England where descendants are today.
Dr. Leila Berkin, B 22 Apr 1875 • Clinton, New York, United States, D 19 October 1915, Kuling, Jiangxi, China. Buried Kuling Foreign Cemetery.
This area looks bleak to me but in the 20s and 30s it was a resort.
I hope my relations did more walking rather than making locals carry them.