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Bates [née Dwyer], Daisy May (1859–1951), anthropologist and social worker among Aboriginal Australians, was born around 16 October 1859, at Roscrea, co. Tipperary, Ireland, the third of four children of Edward Dwyer, shopkeeper and small farmer, and his wife Bridget, née Hunt...

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Blackwood, Beatrice Mary (1889–1975), anthropologist, was born on 3 May 1889 at her parents' home at 3 Marlborough Hill, Marylebone, London, the eldest of the three children of James Blackwood (1822–1911), publisher, and his wife, Mary (1859–1953), a nurse, daughter of John Carter Chamberlayne...

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Boyce, (Nora Elisabeth) Mary (1920–2006), scholar of Zoroastrianism, was born on 2 August 1920 in Darjeeling, India, where her parents were resting. Her father, William H. Boyce, was a judge in the Calcutta high court. Her mother, Nora, née Gardiner, was a granddaughter of the historian ...

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Chilver [née Graves], Elizabeth Leila Millicent [Sally] (1914–2014), anthropologist and college head, was born on 3 August 1914 in Constantinople, Turkey, the only child of Philip Perceval Graves (1876–1953), foreign correspondent for The Times, from a prominent Anglo-Irish family and half-brother of the poet ...

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Croll [née Sprackett], Elisabeth Joan [Lisa] (1944–2007), Sinologist and anthropologist, was born on 21 September 1944 in Reefton, South Island, New Zealand, the daughter of Colston Robert (Bob) Sprackett (1916–1993) and his wife, Kathleen Joan (b. 1917). Her father was a Presbyterian minister from a poor background, and had defied the church's directives not to register as a conscientious objector during the Second World War. Her mother came from a long line of academics who in the mid-nineteenth century had been involved in setting up ...

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Marya Antonina Czaplicka (1884–1921) by F. A. Swaine, pubd 1916 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Czaplicka, Marya Antonina [Marie Antoinette] (1884–1921), anthropologist, was born on 25 October 1884 in Warsaw, daughter of Felix Lubicz Czaplicki and Sophie Zawisza. Educated and trained as a geography teacher in Warsaw and Libau (now Liepaja, Latvia) between 1894 and 1905, from 1906 to 1909 she studied natural history in the ...

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Douglas [née Tew], Dame (Margaret) Mary (1921–2007), social anthropologist, was born on 25 March 1921 in San Remo, Italy, where her parents, Phyllis Margaret Twomey (1900–1933) and Gilbert Charles Tew (1884–1951), had disembarked to take a late honeymoon on their passage home from ...

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Dame (Margaret) Mary Douglas (1921–2007) by Mayotte Magnus, 1976 © Mayotte Magnus; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Durham, (Mary) Edith (1863–1944), traveller and anthropologist, was born in London on 8 December 1863, the eldest of nine children (six girls and three boys) of Arthur Edward Durham (1834–1895), senior consulting surgeon of Guy's Hospital, and his wife, Mary, daughter of William Ellis...

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Gough [married names Miller, Aberle], (Eleanor) Kathleen (1925–1990), social anthropologist and feminist, was born on 16 August 1925 at Hunsingore, near Wetherby, Yorkshire, daughter and youngest child of Albert Gough (1888–1970) and his second wife, Eleanor, née Umpleby (1892–1965), a devout Methodist who sang and recited in local chapels. Her father became village blacksmith in 1914 and played a major role in introducing combines to ...

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Hasluck [née Hardie], Margaret Masson (1885–1948), ethnographer, was born on 18 June 1885 at Chapelton, Drumblade, near Elgin, Scotland, the eldest of the nine children of John Hardie, a farmer, and his wife, Margaret Leslie. Brought up jointly by her grandparents, she was educated at ...

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Hill, Mary Eglantyne [Polly] (1914–2005), economic anthropologist, was born on 10 June 1914 at 35 Park Side, Cambridge, the eldest child of Archibald Vivian Hill (1886–1977), physiologist, and his wife, Margaret Neville, née Keynes (d. 1970), social reformer. She was the progeny of a formidable ...

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Kaberry, Phyllis Mary (1910–1977), anthropologist, was born on 17 September 1910 in San Francisco, not long after her family migrated to the USA from Yorkshire. Her father, Lewis Kaberry (1878–1962), was an architect who specialized in designing theatres and cinemas. Her mother, Hettie Emily, ...

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Kitzinger (née Webster), Sheila Helena Elizabeth (1929–2015), anthropologist and childbirth activist, was born on 29 March 1929 at 22 Belvedere Road, Taunton, the daughter of Clara (Clare), née Bond, and her husband, Alexander James Webster, master tailor and draper. Her mother, a midwife who worked in one of the first birth control clinics, had a powerful influence on her: she led a family life filled with courageous, adventurous, principled, and practical applied work to build peace and social justice and a personal life infused with Unitarian and Quaker spiritual values. From her ...

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Kuper, Hilda Beemer (1911–1992), social anthropologist, was born in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, on 23 August 1911, the daughter of Joseph Beemer, a Lithuanian Jew who with his brother ran a trading business in Northern Rhodesia, and his wife, Antoinette, née Renner, who was also Jewish and was from ...

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Leakey [née Nicol], Mary Douglas (1913–1996), archaeologist and palaeoanthropologist, was born on 6 February 1913 at Trevor Square, Knightsbridge, London, the only child of Erskine Edward Nicol (d. 1926), landscape artist, and his wife, Cecilia Marion Frere (d. 1946), an amateur painter. After spending the First World War years in ...

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Mair, Lucy Philip (1901–1986), social anthropologist, was born on 28 January 1901 at Banstead, Surrey, the eldest of four children of David Beveridge Mair (1868–1942) and his wife, Jessy (later Janet) Thomson Philip (1876–1959). Her father was a former mathematics fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge...

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Lucy Philip Mair (1901–1986) by Lotte Meitner-Graf © Lotte Meitner-Graf

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Patterson [née Caffyn], Sheila (1918–1998), social anthropologist, was born on 30 March 1918 at 64 Bower Mount Road, Maidstone, Kent, the daughter of Thomas Percy Caffyn (1871/2–1920), master draper, and his wife, Edith, daughter of Jason Saville, engineer. Her father had been ill for several years before her birth, and died when she was two. On 19 September 1928 her mother married ...