GENEALOGY FOR THE FUTURE, ISSUE 4.5: Antique Medical Terms

Our last entry (Genealogy for the Future, Issue # 4, Medical History is a MUST DO If You Want a Complete Family Tree) discussed the importance of medical histories; this got me to thinking: modern medicine has either cured many of the old diseases or helped us to better understand them, and therefore more appropriately NAME them. It also occurred to me that there might have been mistakes made (probably no one ever really died of hives, for example [it was more likely an allergic reaction and hives were simply a symptom]), multiple names for the same problem, slang terms, etc- so I decided to do a little digging and see if there might be something I could do to help.


So, I went online and searched, ‘old medical terms,’ ‘antique medical terms / terminology,’ ‘arcane medical terms/ terminology,’ etc and I came up with several different glossaries of commonly used old medical conditions and definitions. Most of these had much the same info on them (as if the people simply copy and pasted the same list of terms into their websites), some had more than others, some had differing definitions and so on. I then combined all these glossaries, consolidated them to reflect the best available definitions and cross checked nearly all the diseases and definitions against the online medical dictionary ( from thefreedictionary.com), wikipedia.org, the regular dictionary (dictionary.com), as well as webmd.com. The result is a comprehensive list of around 450 terms and definitions to help you sift through the medical struff you come up against in your genealogy research. Because it’s so BIG, this glossary has been posted  as a downloadable PDF and is free to anyone who wishes to have it: Antique Medical Terms

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Comments Welcome!