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rsowa



Joined: 09 Nov 2013
Replies: 170
Location: Dundee, Michigan, USA

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:27 pm      Post subject: Causes of Death
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While not all that important in our genealogy research, it is still interesting to learn how our ancestors died. In my case, several epidemics of typhus, diphtheria and smallpox killed half the children of my ancestral families. I sometimes wonder if that might have been some of the incentive for them to emigrate.

To make sense out of the various causes of death in parish registers, I ran across this website that is "Latin/English Glossary of Causes of Death and other Archaic Medical Terms". While they also sell a CD and hard copy book, the listings on the web page include most of what I have needed, at least in Latin.

http://www.antiquusmorbus.com/Latin/Latin.htm

Richard
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MDuplaga



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Replies: 103

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:43 am      Post subject:
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Richard,

Thanks for posting the link-it is the most complete list I have come across. I printed it out for future reference!

MaryAnne
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MAKOVA
PolishOrigins Patron


Joined: 17 Mar 2013
Replies: 56

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:12 pm      Post subject: cause of death
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Hello Richard,

Thank you for posting the list of death causes. I have found a few that are not on that list and hope maybe you have some idea. The one I found used the most about 1800 is Pustula. Then there is .morbo ignato,and morbo natural as well as ordinaria. The last two seem like they would mean the same thing but I have seen the morbo natural as the cause of death for a 2 year old. Any thoughts?

Marie
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rsowa



Joined: 09 Nov 2013
Replies: 170
Location: Dundee, Michigan, USA

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:57 pm      Post subject:
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Marie...gosh, I wish I could help you. I'm nowhere near knowledgeable to even try. I posted the link above because it did help me in a couple of cases. The one who is probably most likely to know the answer is dnowicki. He does the Latin translations. The best way to get it proper translation would be to post an image of the words (or the whole parish register page) in the Latin translation thread. Sometimes the writing in a single entry is hard to read, but with several of the same causes on the same page, it makes it easier.

I did a quick Google translate for your morbo ignato (ignatus?) and got "unknown disease" and ordinaria translates to "ordinary". In other words, they probably had no idea what they died from. The word "pustula" means blister...so they poor guy died of blisters? Doesn't sound right, but it might be that another disease caused blisters as a symptom...smallpox?

Sorry, but that's about it for my feeble brain Smile
Richard
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dnowicki
PO Top Contributor


Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Replies: 1752
Location: Michigan City, Indiana

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:45 pm      Post subject:
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Marie & Richard,

Pustula can mean a blister but as a cause of death it means "pox" which can indicate smallpox which as a cause of a number of deaths in a short time would indicate that there was a smallpox epidemic but it sometimes also refers to other forms of pox like chickenpox .

Morbus means disease and morbo ignoto is the Ablative Case of that word---actually what grammarians refer to as "Ablative of Cause"---and is best translated "from an unknown disease". Morbo naturale means the person died from natural causes and "ordinaria" in the full form would be morte ordinaria or an ordinary death or what we would call a death from natural causes. Morbo ignoto, morbo naturale, etc. are catch all categories used when the actual cause of death was not known but there was no foul play involved. As I mentioned to Richard previously, sometimes the cause of death in Latin records will be entered in Polish. The priest was not a physician and so sometimes he did not know the correct Latin for one or another disease so he simply entered the name of the disease with which he was familiar---the Polish name.

Dave


Last edited by dnowicki on Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Elzbieta Porteneuve
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Joined: 09 Nov 2012
Replies: 3098
Location: Paris, France

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:57 pm      Post subject:
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Marie,
Richard,
Dave,

The "natural" death is an opposite to a "violent" one (a result of trauma, with all possible meanings).

Today in Poland both terms are used in forensic medicine, with the above meaning.
The "natural" is either lesions or involution, and is subdivided into sudden death (for example, sudden cardiac death) and slow death (due to debilitating diseases).

Best,
Elzbieta
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Patrick11



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Replies: 1

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:30 am      Post subject:
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Thanks for sharing this helpful post dear. I am looking for the help on list of viruses which can just get spread by air and are deadly too. Actually I am a medical student and this is my assignment.
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Kim K



Joined: 21 Oct 2018
Replies: 12

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Post Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 2:10 pm      Post subject:
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This intriguing website no longer seems to be working. Are there any other good lists out there? Or can someone share the old list?

Dzięki,
Kim
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MikeHNiemczyk



Joined: 06 Sep 2017
Replies: 15
Location: New York, USA

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:31 am      Post subject: "Hechtycus" - Latin cause of death
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I second Kim's request - the website that garnered so much praise here doesn't seem to open anymore. Does anybody on this site know the meaning of "Hechtycus” as a cause of death (1826)?

Regards,
Michael Niemczyk
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