Amy Johnston, dentist


Amy Isabella Johnston, 1872-1908, one of the few women to become registered dentists in New Zealand in the nineteenth century, was born at Greymouth, New Zealand, on 5 April 1872

Amy Johnston

Amy Johnston. Image supplied by author

In 1893 she took up an apprenticeship with J. F. Wilson, a Blenheim dentist. Amy Johnston passed the exam on 13 October 1896 and was entered on the dental register on 29 October that year. She was one of only five women out of a total of 190 registered dentists whose qualifications met the rather permissive criteria required by the government.

In 1898 Johnston took the unusual step of buying out Wilson's Blenheim practice for £300, borrowing £250 to do so. It was rare for a woman to run her own practice.

In April 1900 Amy Johnston went to Invercargill in ill health. Her creditors, apparently fearing that she had abandoned the business, forced her to declare voluntary bankruptcy. When she realised her assets, however, she was able to pay her debts easily. She continued in practice until 1908, returning, possibly about 1904, to Invercargill, where she again worked with J. F. Wilson.

She died 17 September 1908, aged 36.

Do you have a story about this subject? Find out how to add one here.

Comment on this story

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments

Further sources - Amy Johnston, dentist


Advertisements. Retrieved from PapersPast:

  • Marlborough Express, 34/31, 8 February 1899
  • Pelorus Guardian and Miner's Advocate, 11/43, 5 June 1900
  • Marlborough Express, 34/43, 220 February 1899
  • Marlborough Express, 34/10, 30 April 1900
  • Marlborough Express, 34/275, 27 November 1900.

Web Resources