• Genealogy Death Records: Cause of Death

    Records of our ancestor’s deaths can reveal vital clues that help with tracing the family tree. Genealogists have long recognized the importance of the information held in these records such as names, dates and places.

    However quite often, family historians want more than the dry facts. We want to get to know our ancestors through the paper trails they have left behind. Even more importantly, we sometimes want to learn more about a family history of disease.


    Causes of Death in Your Family Tree

    While obtaining these records has become easier over the years, understanding the cause of death is often a conundrum.  Whether they are natural or accidental, causes of death can be extremely perplexing.

    Even when they seem straight forward, like in the case of P. Sinclair whose death record stated lost at sea.  After a good deal of research went into determining where he was lost at sea it was discovered that the term was often applied to sailors who had celebrated a little too heavily while on leave and drowned from drunkenly falling off the dock.

    Making things more difficult are archaic medical terms that seem quite bizarre to our 21st century minds. It is hard to know what is meant when the cause of death cited is poisoned face.

    Not all causes of death on old records are as extreme as the example above however they can still be a challenge. Here is a look at some common and not so common terms you are likely to run across in your research.

    The causes of death found in ancestral records are as diverse and numerous…well, as our ancestors.

    If you are interested in tracking this fascinating subject in order to research and document possible hereditary diseases, Genealogy Beginner recommends using our Major Milestones Tracking Form. Download yours today with your 30 Day FREE Trial.


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