Dictionary of Medical & Related Terms for the Family Historian
Date of publication:
Publisher: Federation of Family History Societies
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Joan Grundy has forty years' experience as a midwife and practice nurse. During thirty of these years, she has researched her own family history and has been involved with several family history societies. Her dictionary is designed to help fellow family historians to understand medical terms that appear in parish registers, on death certificates, and other 18th and 19th century sources.
The observations of early medical men were particularly thorough as they tried to determine the cause of diseases. They listed every symptom the patients described and compared them with their colleagues' cases. However, despite being very good at recognising symptoms they had litlle understanding of the causes and had relatively few effective treatments to offer.
For many of the diseases described in this dictionary, Joan has given an outline of the symptoms and sometimes gory ailments of our ancestors. Flesh is put on the bones of our forebears and provides an insight into their lives, social conditions and deaths.