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And Their Modern Definitions


Many times these old names were given on death certificates

or mortality schedules.

We hope these matching terms will help you in your

Genealogy research.


Dr. and Mrs. Keith E. OXFORD

ACUTE MANIA -- Severe Insanity

  1. ADDISON'S DISEASE -- A destructive disease marked by weakness, loss of weight, low blood pressure, gastrointestinal disturbances, and brownish pigmentation of the skin and mucous membranes.
  2. APHONIA -- Laryngitis
  3. APOPLEXY -- Stroke
    1. AGUE -- Used to define the recurring fever & chills of malarial infection.
  4. BILIOUSNESS -- Jaundice or other symptoms associated with liver disease.
  5. BLACK JAUNDICE (WIEL'S DISEASE) -- Black jaundice is a common term for Wiel's Disease. It is quite common in northeast England near mines, farms and sewage and floats about in water.
  6. It is caused by a micro-organism and thus is a bacterial infection (of the liver) and not a virus, as in hepatitis. It is carried by rats and secreted in their urine. It is usually not fatal, in present time, to humans. It is, however, rapidly fatal to dogs and cats, who can eventually gain a resistance, but either way can pass it on.
  7. BRIGHT'S DISEASE -- Bright's Disease is a catch-all for kidney diseases/disorders.
  8. CAMP FEVER -- Typhus
  9. CANINE MADNESS -- Hydrophobia
  10. CARDITIS -- Inflammation of the heart wall
  11. CATARRH -- Inflammation of mucous membrane
  12. CHLOROSIS -- Iron deficiency anemia
  13. CHOREA (ST. VITUS' DANCE) -- Nervous disorder
  14. COMMOTION -- Concussion
  15. CONSUMPTION -- Tuberculosis
  16. CORRUPTION -- Infection
  17. CORZA -- A cold
  18. COSTIVENESS -- Constipation
  19. CRAMP COLIC -- Appendicitis
  20. CROUP -- Spasmodic laryngitis especially of infants, marked by episodes of difficult breathing and hoarse metallic cough
  21. DEATH FROM "TEETHING" -- Tooth infections with inflammation and cellulitis were clearly important causes of illness and death before there was adequate dentistry.
  22. DOMESTIC ILLNESS -- Polite way of saying mental breakdown, depression, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, or the after effects of a stroke or any illness that kept a person housebound and probably in need of nursing support.
  23. DROPSY -- Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease. Dropsy would be called congestive heart failure today.
  24. It is an accumulation of fluid around the heart, for a variety of complex reasons, and one treatment is administration of digitalis (foxglove leaves).
  25. DYSPEPSIA -- Acid indigestion
  26. EXTRAVASTATED BLOOD -- Rupture of a blood vessel
  27. FALLING SICKNESS -- Epilepsy
  28. FLUX OF HUMOUR -- Circulation
  29. FRENCH POX -- A venereal disease

GOUT -- Any inflammation, not just in a joint or extremity, caused by the formation of crystals of oxalic acid when it accumulates in the body. It most often occurs in joints where circulation is poor, and can even cause gallstones or kidney stones. Gout is a disease caused by a buildup of urate or uric acid in the body, which crystallizes out in areas without much rapid blood flow and can cause damage when, for example a toe is stubbed.

  1. GREEN SICKNESS -- Anemia
  2. HIP GOUT -- Osteomylitis
  3. JAIL FEVER -- Typhus
  4. KING'S EVIL (SCROFULA) -- Tubercular infection of the throat lymph glands.
  5. LA GRIPPE -- Flu
  6. LUES -- Syphilis
  7. LUES VENERA -- Venereal disease
  8. LUMBAGO -- Back pain
  9. LUNG FEVER -- Pneumonia
  10. LUNG SICKNESS -- Tuberculosis
  11. MANIA -- Insanity
  12. MARASMUS -- Progressive emaciation
  13. MEMBRANOUS CROUP -- Hoarse cough
  14. MILK LEG -- A painful swelling of the leg beginning at the ankle and ascending, or at the groin and extending down the thigh. It's usual cause is infection after labor.
  15. MORTIFICATION -- Infection
  16. NEURASTHENIA -- Neurotic condition
  17. NOSTALGIA -- Homesickness

POTT'S DISEASE -- Tuberculosis of the spine with destruction of the bone resulting in curvature of the spine .


  1. PROTEIN DISEASE -- A once relatively common childhood kidney disease that causes the kidney to leak protein. This is a secondary allergic reaction to certain kinds of strep infections.
  2. PUTRID FEVER -- Diptheria
  3. QUINSY -- Tonsilitis
  4. REMITTING FEVER -- Malaria
  6. SCREWS -- Rheumatism
  7. SEPTICEMIA -- Blood poisoning
  8. SHIP'S FEVER -- Typhus
  9. STRANGERY -- Rupture
  10. SUMMER COMPLAINT -- Dysentery or baby diarrhea caused by spoiled milk.