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 Bonfante. 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.
Tan covered booklet holds 10 certificates bound with staples. Nine extra certificates are placed inside the booklet. The maker's date is 11-10-21. The leaves are printed on both sides, the front the certificate to be filled out, and the back a restatement of laws. Watermarked paper. The front cover has directions and the majority of the back cover is missing. The booklet is part of the midwife's kit from Buffalo, NY, about 1920.
Currently not on view
date made
State of New York. Department of Health
place made
United States: New York, Buffalo
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
metal (binding material)
overall: 1/8 in x 10 5/8 in x 5 5/8 in; .3175 cm x 26.9875 cm x 14.2875 cm
overall: 27 cm x 14 cm x 2 cm; 10 5/8 in x 5 1/2 in x 25/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift from Joseph Badlotto in memory of Rosa Bonfante and her daughter Mary Bonfante Chirchirillo Badlotto
Women's Health
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Midwife Kit
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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