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Nurse Hartshorne (1905-1933+)

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Go to the map of maternity homes to see locations (A1, A2, A3, A4).

Nurse Martha Hartshorne was a midwife who provided maternity care from several locations in Mt Albert and surrounding areas between 1905 and 1933+.

She retained her midwife registration until at least 1933, and died in 1952, aged 94.  

In newspaper birth notices, her name is occasionally spelled Hartshorn. In the database Register of Medical Practitioners and Nurses 1882-1933 (extracted from the New Zealand Gazette), her name is transcribed as Hartsborne.

A1. 1905-1922. 53 New North Rd, Glenmore (now 355 New North Rd, Kingsland).

Nurse Hartshorne lived in this villa with her husband William, who died in 1919. She worked as a “ladies’ nurse” and attended home births from 1905 onwards. The first record of a delivery “at Nurse Hartshorne’s home, New North Rd was a birth notice in the Auckland Star in November 1907.

In September 1913 she had another Nurse working with her:

New Zealand Herald 16 September 1913

A2. 1922-c1923. 43 Cromwell Rd, Mt Eden.

In June 1922 Nurse Hartshorne moved less than a mile south to 43 Cromwell Rd, Mt Eden, to a villa in a quiet street. Technically this is outside Mt Albert’s boundaries, but only just: the boundary lay at #21 Cromwell Rd. This boundary would have made no difference to the mothers of Mt Albert.

New Zealand Herald 30 June 1922

A3. c1923-1933+. 42 Huntingtree Ave, Edendale.

This was the home of Nurse Hartshorne’s daughter and son in law, Alice and Ernest Southgate, and was the address for her midwifery registration from 1924.

In April 1924 a birth notice in the Auckland Star says that a baby was born at Nurse Hartshorne’s in Huntingtree Ave.

A4.1924-1928. 40 Virginia Tce, Eden Tce.

Nurse Hartshorne advertised that she would support women in their own homes from this address, and she served a wide community, with birth notices from as far away as Avondale and Point Chevalier.

The last mention of Nurse Hartshorne in a newspaper birth notice was in November 1927.

New Zealand Herald 6 June 1925

This house was also just outside Mt Albert’s boundary, but was only a few minutes walk from her earlier New North Rd home. This part of Virginia Ave was demolished to build Ian McLean Link. Number 40 was located approximately where the Virginia Reserve lies, where Devon St meets Ian McLean Link.


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