New York State Department of Health Albany Booklet of Ten Birth Certificates

Description (Brief)
Midwives have been helping deliver babies for millennia. Midwives in the early 20th century, with the advent of big-city hospitals continued to serve the needs of immigrants and rural American women.
The owner of this midwife kit was Rosa Bonfanto. Rosa was from Palermo, Sicily, and immigrated to the United States in 1922, settling first in Buffalo, NY, and later in Albany. Her satchel and its contents, along with her story are shrouded in mystery. Rosa's grandson, Joseph Badlotto, writes in a brief statement that according to family lore, Rosa had an affair in Sicily with Carlo Chirchirillo (the donor's natural grandfather). Born of that affair in 1918 was a baby girl, named Mary (the donor's mother). Carlos and his wife, Felicia, raised the child, and in 1920 immigrated to the United States. Rosa followed about two years later posing as the child's godmother. Years passed before the truth about Mary's parentage became known.
Paper booklet of 10 certificates bound with staples. Tan paper used for covers, certificates on white paper and black print. The leaves are printed on both sides with the front being the certificate to be filled and the back a restatement of laws. Watermarked paper. Front cover has directions, and back cover has regulations and publishing listings. Was used as part of a midwives kit from Buffalo, NY about 1920.
Currently not on view
Object Name
booklet, birth certificates
midwife's kit
date made
State of New York. Department of Health
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
metal (binding material)
overall: 1/8 in x 10 7/8 in x 5 1/2 in; .3175 cm x 27.6225 cm x 13.97 cm
overall: 27.8 cm x 14 cm x 1 cm; 10 15/16 in x 5 1/2 in x 13/32 in
place made
United States: New York, Buffalo
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Women's Health
Health & Medicine
Midwife Kit
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Midwife Kit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift from Joseph Badlotto in memory of Rosa Bonfante and her daughter Mary Bonfante Chirchirillo Badlotto

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