Tag: Gross!

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A Guide to Strange Historical Diseases and Mortality

OR, “Ye Olde Deaths in Times of Yore”

Genealogy research has forced me to brush up on my medical ailments of centuries past to understand what horrible diseases befell my poor ancestors. Physicians of yore had all sorts of colorful ideas and terminology relating to the body, and its functions and diseases. It’s been an unfortunate journey reading about pustules, limb loss, and rashes. Leeches. Bad milk. Dental abcesses that cause suffocation. Fellow amateur historians out there can appreciate the horror. It’s a damn disgusting treat that makes me really happy to be alive in modern times.

For those of you who haven’t enjoyed such research yet, you may have been taken aback by an image recently circulating around social media (Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, the usuals), listing the causes of death in London for the year 1632. It’s pretty perplexing, isn’t it? Quinsie? Planet? Fistula? I mean, CANCER AND WOLF?

And I won’t even begin to understand “Kil’d by Several Accidents”.

If you think you have the stomach for it, I invite you to read on for an explantion of strange historical diseases and casualties. I present to you, casual reader, as well as other genealogical researchers, Ye Olde Deaths in Times of Yore: