S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Berthoud, Mrs Ruth (natural history collection)

Born: 1859, Chézard-Saint-Martin, Val de Ruz, Switzerland.
Died: 1901, Maputo, Mozambique.

Ruth Berthoud (née Junod) was a daughter of Henri Junod and his wife Marie Dubied, and sister of the Swiss missionary H.A. Junod*. In 1883 she became the second wife of another missionary, Reverend Paul Berthoud* of the Swiss Romande Mission, and accompanied him to South Africa. They were stationed at Valdezia station, at Spelonken in the northern Transvaal. In 1884 Ruth sent the first of a series of natural history specimens from there to the museum in Neuchatel, Switzerland. She and her husband later moved to the Rikatla mission, north of Maputo in Mozambique, until 1889 when the station was taken over by Ruth's brother. The Berthoud's then set up a new station at Lourenco Marques (now Maputo).

After her death Ruth's letters from southern Africa were published under the title Du Transvaal à Lourenco Marques: Lettres de Mme Ruth Berthoud-Junod de la Mission romande (Lausanne, 1904).

List of sources:
Dictionary of South African biography, Vol. 1, 1968, P. Berthoud; Vol. 2, 1972, H.A. Junod.

Harries, P. Field sciences in scientific fields: entomology, botany and the early ethnographic monograph in the work of H.A. Junod. In S. Dubow (Ed.), Science and society in southern Africa (pp. 11-41). Machester University Press, 2000.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

Compiled by: C. Plug