Old Medical Terms in Irish Genealogy

Published by P&P on

Home » People » Tracing Your Family Tree » Old Medical Terms in Irish Genealogy
Old Medical Tools
Old Medical Tools

Medical Terms You Might Come Across

Background

In researching your family tree you are likely to come across some medical terminology that seems odd to modern ears. Terms like Apoplexy, Corruption, Gravel, Idiot, Jail Fever and White Swelling seem baffling but have simply been updated as medical science improves.

List of old-fashioned terms and modern equivalents

The list below summarises some of the more common medical terms included in old medical or death records etc

Ague – Malaria

Apoplexy – Stroke

Atrophy – Wasting

Bilious Fever – Vomiting, various causes

Brain Fever – Meningitis

Canker – Ulcerous sores

Carbuncle – Deep-seated infection

Consumption – Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Convulsions – Fever due to infection

Corruption – Infection

Creeping Paralysis – Multiple Sclerosis

Debility – Bodily weakness

Dropsy – Kidney disease or Congestive heart failure

Enteric Fever – Typhoid

Falling Sickness – Epilepsy

Flux – Diarrhoea

Gravel – Kidney Stones

Idiot or Imbecile – Mental Impairment

Infantile Paralysis – Polio

Intemperance – Lack of restraint usually referring to Alcoholism

Jail Fever – Typhus

Lying-in – Childbirth

Mania – Insanity

Marasmus – Severe Malnutrition

Milk Fever – Infection from drinking unpasteurised milk

Mortification – Decaying of a body part e.g. Gangrene

Natural Decay – Death from old age

Palsy – Paralysis

Phthisis – Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Pink Disease – Mercury poisoning

Puerperal Fever – Bacterial infection after childbirth

Putrid Sore Throat – Severe Tonsillitis

Quinsy – Inflammation of the Mouth and Tonsils

Remitting Fever – Malaria

Rickets – Vitamin D deficiency leading to a weakening of the bones, usually in children

Scarlatina – Scarlet Fever

Screws – Rheumatism

Scrofula – Tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, usually in children

Scurvy – Vitamin C deficiency

Senile Decay – weakening due to old age

Ship Fever – Typhus

Softening of the Brain – Senility

Teething – raised temperature from teething was then often fatal

Undulant Fever – from drinking infected milk

White Swelling – enlargement of the joins usually due to Tuberculosis

Winter Fever – Pneumonia


Do you want to see all new BelfastEntries Posts?
If you like our Facebook posts and would like to see more then please add yourself as a friend to our PandP profile screen or follow our BelfastEntries page. We cannot add posts to all groups and the only way to be sure of receiving notifications of new posts is to follow our page. You will see that the Belfast Entries page has a 5 star rating from readers

If you enjoyed this article please consider a small donation

Belfast Entries is a husband & wife hobby website featuring articles on our shared history, memories and entertaining stories of our past. To help us meet rising website hosting costs please click the coffee cup below to learn how to make a small donation. Please note that every contribution is valued and that we will not contact you directly in order to respect your privacy.

Buy Us a Coffee
Buy Us a Coffee

Donations this month 2 😀

Thank you Helen

Thank you Jackie

We had 3 donations last month


Help Us Find New Readers

If you like our posts please help us to grow our readership by sharing any posts that you like using the social media sharing icons shown with each post.


What are others reading now?

Galboly cottage view

Galboly – The County Antrim Village Lost in Time

By P&P / 30 September 2021 / 4 Comments
Mill chimney - a common sight in Belfast

Ardoyne – The Story of a Village

By P&P / 13 November 2021 / 2 Comments
Bodies Illustration at the scene Belfast Telegraph 13th March 1890

Nora’s Grave 1890 – Love & Death

By P&P / 19 March 2022 / 0 Comments
Belfast Long Bridge crossed the River Lagan between 1688 and 1841

Unusual Laws in Old Belfast 1613 – 1816

By P&P / 11 March 2022 / 0 Comments
Hy Brasil Appears (AI image © Bing Image Creator)

Hy Brasil – The True Story of a Mythical Island

By P&P / 9 September 2022 / 0 Comments

Cost of Living Crisis

Given the current cost of living crisis that will impact so many in coming months we have added a page signposting organisations that may be able to offer support. We have no relationship with these organisations and cannot offer financial advice but we hope that some of the links may prove useful.


Ancestry Antrim Arthur Chichester artist Belfast Belfast Entries Belfast Family belfast roots Carrickfergus Castle Cemetery Church Clifton House County Antrim County Down Department Store Donegal education. family tree Famous Folk Forgotten folk Genealogy Ghost graveyard Historical places History Hotel Ireland Irish Census Records Irish Family Irish genealogy irish roots Mary Ann McCracken Operation Overlord Otto Jaffe Outlaw People Philanthropist Places to see Poor House Sailortown St Patrick Titanic Tourism United Irishmen


Belfast Entries posts & photos are our intellectual property and copyrighted to us. Where we use photos that do not belong to us, it is because we believe them to be in the public domain or shared under a Creative Commons licence with appropriate attribution. None of our content or images can be used without our consent. Note that a link to our Copyright & Takedown notice is included in the website footer on all pages.


P&P

We are a Belfast couple adding information on Belfast and the surrounding counties. Over coming months we will add a range of posts covering the people, places, products and stories that interest us and will hopefully be of interest to you. Over time we hope to build up information of use to locals & visitors alike and welcome your feedback on subjects of interest or stories that might be interest to the wider audience. Let us know what you think.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Would you like notifications of new Belfast Entries posts? OK No thanks