Baby Farming

Baby Farming was a term used to mean the taking in of an infant or child for payment; if the infant was young, this usually included wet-nursing (breast-feeding by a woman not the mother). Some baby farmers “adopted” children for lump-sum payments, while others cared for infants for periodic payments. Though baby farmers were paid in the understanding that care would be provided, the term “baby farmer” was used as an insult, and improper treatment was usually implied. Illegitimacy and its attendant stigma were usually the impetus for a mother’s decision to put her children “out to nurse” with a baby farmer, but baby farming also encompassed foster care and adoption in the period before they were regulated by law.
Particularly in the case of lump-sum adoptions, it was more profitable for the baby farmer if the infant or child she adopted died, since the small payment could not cover the care of the child for long. Some baby farmers adopted numerous children and then neglected them or murdered them outright. Several were tried for murder, manslaughter, or criminal neglect and were hanged. (from Wikipedia)
Baby farming is a very distasteful topic but is included here as a reference and only because they do fall under the label of “Women Who Kill” I have not gone into much detail on them, just a few known facts. Personally to me it is very hard to believe that people can be so cruel when looking into the eyes of a baby; some of the totals horrified me, as I am sure they will you too!

A

ABBOTT, Evelyn (aka ‘Mother Abbot’) – Roxbury, Massachusetts, USA, 1891 – Unknown number of babies died
ANDRASEN, FRU (along with Fru Johannsen & Fru Olsen)– Christiana (Oslo), NORWAY, 1901 – 27 infants (suffocation & starving)
ASHMEAD, Elizabeth (aka “Dr. Conde,” and “Dr. Maron,” “woman in black”) – Philadelphia, Pa., Melville, NJ, Wilmington De., USA , 1904 – 100s of babies (buried alive; burned alive); also suspected in deaths of many young women. Sentenced to (only) 5 years at Leavenworth, Kansas!
ATHERTON, Dr. Bessie (with Cramer) – USA, 1926 – 3 dead babies found

B

BAMBERGER, Henrietta – St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 1899 – Midwife – 300 estimated
BARNES, Catherine – Birkenhead, ENGLAND, 1879 – 3 babies died (exposure: no clothing/starvation)
BARTHIAN, Madame – Rittencourt, Lorraine, FRANCE, 1893 – 25 (starvation)
BATTEN, Annie – Perth, AUSTRALIA 1904 – ‘alleged wholesale infanticide’
BATTS, Ellen – Waverly, AUSTRALIA – 3
“BERLIN BABY FARMER – Berlin, GERMANY, 1892 – 15 bodies found
BILIEN, Valentina – Velpke, GERMANY 1946 – 114 died by severe neglect
BLAIR, Anne – AUSTRALIA, 1870 – 1
BRONZO, Rosa – ITALY, 1879 – ‘several’
BREITSCHWART, Christine – USA, 1892 – 4 babies abandoned in winter, 1 died (exposure: frozen)

C

CAMPBELL, Nellie – Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1902 – 8 (starvation)
CHARD-WILLIAM, Ada – London, ENGLAND, 1899/1900 – 1 (strangled & trussed up with cords)
“CHRISTIANA BABY FARMER” – Christiana (Oslo), NORWAY, 1902 – ‘a small army of tiny corpses dug up’
CHIVERS, Daisy Ellen – Brighton-on-Sea, ENGLAND, 1928 – 1 murdered; suspected of more (exposure: cold;burned after death)
CLAUS, Catherine & Charles – Long Island, New York, USA , 1890 – 5 babies (strangled)
CLAYTON, Madge – Preston, AUSTRALIA, 1908 – 6
COMPTON, Mary, Mary Compton the Younger – ENGLAND
CONNELLY, Matilda – Lancasterm, Illinois, USA, 1912 – 4
COOPER, Martha & Daniel – Bewlands, NEW ZEALAND, 1922 – 3 discovered (strangled) Daniel Executed
“COPENHAGEN BABY FARM COUPLE” – DENMARK, 1860 –
CRAMER,  Marie (with Atherton)  – USA, 1926 – 3 discovered

D

DAY, Gertrude – USA, 1914 – unsolved mystery
DEAN, Minnie – Invercargill, NEW ZEALAND, 1895 – 3 babies and 1 toddler (laudanum/suffocation) Executed
DE JESUS, Luisa – Coimbra, PORTUGAL, 1772 – poisoned to death 28 babies Executed
DELEWARE, Miss – Waihora, NEW ZEALAND,1889 – ‘many babies killed’
DELPECH, Madame Anne Gaillard – Mantauban, FRANCE, 1868/1869 -many – (Drowned)
DIEDEN, Maude – Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1929 – 10
DOUGLAS, Amy M’Neil – Chingford, ENGLAND, 1899 – 3 from starvation (strangled)
DUNN, Honora – Adelaide, AUSTRALIA, 1881 – many abused & murdered
DUPIN, Anne – Boulouire, FRANCE, 1869 – 40 +
DYER, Amelia – Caversham, ENGLAND, 1896 – 100s of babies (strangled) Executed

E

ECKHARDT, Wilhelmena – New York, New York, USA, 1906 – 12 babies (twisting babies neck; burned after death)

F

FORTMEYER, Julia – St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 1875 – 3-100 (burned alive)

G

GEISEN-VOLK, Helen – New York, New York, USA, 1925 – 53 babies (Battery; exposure: frozen; neglect;strangled)
GOBAY, Emily & Emma Kitchen – Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 1903 – at least 3
GRAMMAGE, Augusta – ENGLAND, 1875 – convicted of murdering 1
“GREY NUNS OF MONTREAL – Montreal, Quebec, CANADA, 1876 – 631
GUY, Mary Ann – NEW ZEALAND – convicted of one death
GUZOVSKA, Madame – Warsaw, POLAND, 1903 – ‘over 500’

H

HANSON, Annie – Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1892 – at least 5
HOLMEN, Mrs. Gustav (alias) – Stockholm, SWEDEN, 1906 – over 1000

I

ISHIKAWA, Miyuki – Tokyo, JAPAN, 1948 – 103 (neglect)

J

JAGER, Maria Azalai – Hodmezovassarhely, HUNGARY, 1897 – many babies (poison)
JOHANNSEN, Fru (along with Fru Andrason & Fru Olsen)– Christiana (Oslo), NORWAY, 1901 – 27 (suffocation & starving)
JULIEN, Madame – Le Puy, FRANCE, 1867 – midwife; many victims (starvation)

K

KING, Jessie – Stockbridge, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND, 1889 – 3 (arsenic) (strangled) Executed
KNORR, Frances – Brunswick, AUSTRALIA, 1893 – 3-13 (strangled) Executed
KONOPKOVA, Marianne – Wieliczka, POLAND, 1906 – 30
KREIS CHILDREN’S HOME: Ella Schmidt, Liesel Bachor, Kate Pisters – GERMANY, 1946 – 370
KUSNEZOWA, Madame – Archangel, RUSSIA, 1913 – 1,102 (poison)

L

LACROIX, Diana – Hull, Quebec, CANADA, 1927 – 7
LAPHAME, Belinda – San Francisco, California, USA, 1893 – 3 or 4 (kept in jars); others killed (opium)
“THE LIMBURG BABY FARMER” – Limburg, GERMANY, 1892 – multiple babies
LOWRY, Mary – Omaha, Nebraska, USA, 1904 – 2 died, 3 near death (starvation)
LYNN, Rachel – Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 1911- unknown number

M

MABRE, Louise – FRANCE, 1763 – 62 – (arsenic) Executed
MAKIN, Sarah Jane – Sydney, AUSTRALIA, 1892 – 13 (needle in heart)
MCCLOSKEY, Margaret – New York, New York, USA, 1876 – 6 babies in starving condition (neglect/starvation)
MCDONALD, Cynthia – Rochester, New York, USA, 1887 – 2 died; 2 in starving condition
MCKENZIE, Emily Charlotte – London suburbs ENGLAND, 1884 – many babies died
MILLER,  Mrs. A. H. – Wichita, Kansas, USA, 1903 – 2 died; additional bodies
“MINNEAPOLIS BABY FARMER” – Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 1908 – starving baby rescued
MITCHELL, Alice – Perth, AUSTRALIA, 1907 – 37 (neglect/starvation)
MITTLESTEDT, Pauline – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA , 1886 – ‘professional infant murderess’ (darning needle in heart)
MORRIS, Jane – NY NY, USA , 1898 – 5
MYER, Frau – Bockenheim, GERMANY, 1892 – 58

N

NEWMAN, Isabella – Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, 1913 – 3 (suffocation)
“NIJNI NOVGOROD SERIAL KILLER” – Nijni Novgorod, RUSSIA, 1894 – 17
NIVISON, Symenthe S. – Hammonton, New Hampshire, USA, 1884 – 22 (neglect)
NOSKINA, Feige – Vilna, LITHUANIA, 1892 – 65 (Battery; drowned in cesspool) (suffocation)

O

“ODESSA BABY FARMER” – Odessa, UKRAINE, 1887 – 10
OLSEN, Fru (along with Fru Andrason & Fru Johannsen ) – Christiana (Oslo), NORWAY, 1901 – 27 (suffocation & starving)
“OSAKA BABY FARMERS” – Osaka, JAPAN, 1902 – 300
“OSAKA ‘DEVIL WOMAN'” – Osaka, JAPAN, 1906 – 100
OSTROVOSKAFA, Rachel – Odessa, UKRAINE, 1885 – more than 3; infanticide cult (strangled)
OVERBYE, Dagmar – Copenhagen, DENMARK, 1920 – 11 confessed child murders (drowned/burned alive/strangled/burned after death)

P

PARR, Agnes – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 1877 – multiple
PIARD, Annie – USA, 1877 – multiple starved to death
PORRO, Rose & Margarite Coraldi – Naples, ITALY, 1873 – 8 Executed
“PRZEMYSI BABY FARMERS” – Przmyski, AUSTRIA, 1893 – 27 buried in cigar boxes

R

REIGNOLDS, Mary – Hollister, New Hampshire, USA, 1875 – 5 (laudanum)
ROGERS, Frances – ENGLAND, 1871 – 4 died; sentenced to 20 years (neglect)
ROSEBERRY, Edna – USA, 1948 – tortured babies routinely

S

SACH, Amelia & Annie Walters – Finchley, ENGLAND, 1902 – ‘probably 100s of babies’ (chlorodyne) Executed
SANCHEZ AQUILLON, Felícitas (or Sánchez Neyra) – Mexico City, MEXICO, 1941 – 40 – 100
SCHMIDT, Ella , Liesel Bachor & Kathe Pisters – see Kreis Children’s Home GERMANY, 1946 –
SEIFFERT, Jennie – St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 1889 – 2 died; 4 dying (starvation)
SKOUBLINSKA, Marianne (or Marianna Skublinska) – Warsaw, POLAND, 1890 – 76
SPINKS, Ann – ENGLAND, 1898 – at least 2 (neglect)

T

TANAKA, Mrs & Mrs. Juniki -JAPAN, 1924 – 8 murdered by fake foster parents (starvation)
TANN, Georgia – Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 1950 – 1,000s (exposure: sun)
TOOKE, Annie – ENGLAND, 1879 – 1 child murdered & dismembered
TURNER, Maud – Toronto, CANADA, 1909 – suspected of numerous murders (strangled)
TYDRICH, Leontina – Vialystock, POLAND, 1927 – 60

V

“VILLA VICO BABY FARMER” – Vila Vicosa (“Villa Vico”), PORTUGAL, 1854 – 9
“VIVIENNE MIDWIFE” – Vivienne Quartier, Paris, FRANCE, 1906 – 120 (burned after death

W

“WARASADIN BABY FARMERS” – Warasdin, CROATIA, 1893 – torture & maiming; child trafficking
WARD, Mary Josephine – USA, 1884 – at least 10
WATERS, Margaret – London, ENGLAND, 1870 – 5 (laudanum/neglect/starvation) Executed
WIESE, Elizabeth – St. Pauli (Hamburg), GERMANY, 1903 – burned babies in stove (drowned; morphine/burned after death) Executed
WEST, Mrs. Fred – Des Moines, Iowa, USA, 1907 – burned babies alive (laudanum/burned after death)
WILLIS, Rhoda – WALES, 1907 – 2 babies Executed
WINSOR, Charlotte – ENGLAND, 1865 – unknown – (Crushed to death) (suffocation) Executed
WORCESTER, Rozilla – New York, New York, USA, 1877 – 6 in 30 day period

Y

YOUNG, Lila Gladys & William – Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA, 1936 – estimated 400-600 (neglect)

WORST OF THE WORST

TANN, Georgia – Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 1950 – 1,000s (exposure: sun)
• KUSNEZOWA, Madame – Archangel, RUSSIA, 1913 – 1,102 (poison)
• Holmen, Mrs. Gustav (alias) – Stockholm, SWEDEN, 1906 – over 1000
• YOUNG, Lila Gladys & William – Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA, 1936 – estimated 400-600 (neglect)
• “GREY NUNS OF MONTREAL” – Montreal, Quebec, CANADA, 1876 – 631
• GUZOVSKA, Madame – Warsaw, POLAND, 1903 – ‘over 500′
• KREIS CHILDRENS HOME: Ella Schmidt, Liesel Bachor, Kate Pisters – GERMANY, 1946 – 370
• “OSAKA BABY FARMERS” – Osaka, JAPAN, 1902 – 300
• BAMBERGER, Henrietta – St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 1899 – Midwife – 300 estimated
• SACH, Amelia & Annie Walters – Finchley, ENGLAND, 1902 – ‘probably 100s of babies’ (chlorodyne) Executed
• DYER, Amelia – Caversham, ENGLAND, 1896 – 100s of babies (strangled) Executed

 

STATISTICS BY COUNTRY

• AUSTRALIA – 9
• AUSTRIA – 1
• CANADA – 4
• CROATIA – 1
• DENMARK – 2
• ENGLAND – 14
• FRANCE – 6
• GERMANY – 6
• HUNGARY – 1
• ITALY – 2
• JAPAN – 4
• LITHUANIA – 1
• MEXICO – 1
• NEW ZEALAND – 4
• NORWAY – 4
• POLAND – 4
• PORTUGAL – 1
• RUSSIA – 4
• SCOTLAND – 1
• SWEDEN – 1
• USA – 36 (wow!!!)
• WALES – 1

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