Archiver > LANCSGEN > 2003-02 > 1046083360

Subject: Re: [LAN] What's a nursechild?
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 12:42:32 Africa/Johannesburg

Hi there,

I live in South Africa and the term nurse child isn't so unfamiliar here. It is as far as
I know definetely a child that has been placed with someone for nursing. Like a wetnurse.
It's relatively normal in certain communities here, the baby might be with a relative or
good friends of the family, as the mother might be working elsewhere, so deceased, or not
capable of looking after the child herself. Also, it's quite normal to nurse children way
beyond two years.
I guess it was and here is also fairly common for people to have a lot of children, so
chances that a woman is nursing at any point in time were and are high.

Kind regards

> Hi Diane,
> I remember this query on the Cumberland list last year. I hope it is OK to
> quote replies from the archives. Here are the two main replies I found:
> < There are two versions of Nursechild, the most common one I have found is
> achild that is placed with another family, possibly by the Parish or by
> amother having to return to work to support herself.Another version is as an
> occupation - in the Mill towns especially olderfemale children were used as
> childminders. They would work at home, andwomen working in the mills would
> drop their child off on the way to work.You can usually work out which
> definition applies by the age given for theNursechild. >
> and
> < If the child is recorded as an infant, it is likely to be literally what it
> says - a baby put out to nurse with (presumably!) the wife, who may have a
> suckling child herself at that time. Its mother may have died in childbirth,
> or be unable to suckle. I believe prosperous families also paid to put out
> their children to nurse.It might also be a kind of fostering arrangement. >
> Regards,
> Dianne,
> Buckinghamshire UK
> Researching: COOK, Blackburn, mid 19th century to date
> COOK, Ribchester area, mid 19th century
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