Old Medical Terms

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Causes of Death on older sources can be confusing. Here are some sources to help you figure out how your relative died.


Common Past Causes of Death


  • Ague
  • Congestive fever


Tuberculosis is a contagious disease caused by a bacteria. It has been around since ancient times.

  • Consumption Commonly used in the 19th century as the disease seemed to “consume” the body
  • Phthisis Used by ancient Greeks —means “Consumption”. It’s often found as cause of death on older ScotlandsPeople records
  • Scofula Commonly during Middle Aged
  • White Plague Common term used in 18th century due to paleness of its victims


  • Grippe


  • Apoplexy


  • Lockjaw

Blood poisoning sepsis or septicemia.

puerperal fever is a form of septicaemia caused by lack of hygiene during the delivery of a baby. T


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The Sick Child
The Sick Child

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