Medical Miscellany

hbj0375What did your ancestors die of? What exactly is that condition mentioned on my ancestor’s records? These are the questions Dr. Jeanette L. Jerger asked herself while researching her great-grandfather’s pension record. Dr. Jerger discovered her Civil War great-grandfather was “salivated” during the war. A 30 year experience nurse and she had no idea what this meant. She discovered that people did in fact suffer “salivation,” or an excessive discharge of saliva. Turns out, most suffered this problem as a result of mercurial treatments, used at a time before doctor’s new the risk of mercury poisoning. Learning from this lesson, Dr. Jeger was inspired to write A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists.

A Medical Miscellany is a reference guide to diseases, conditions, and homeopathic cures common to our ancestors. Taking a dictionary style formatting, the terms are listed in alphabetical order and cross-referenced where appropriate. Some of the terms related to myth and magic as people believed in such. Healing terms for antiquated remedies also make up part of the list. Here are some sample entries:

Great White Scourge (The)

also tuberculosis


also mojo


Also boco, boco. A voodoo cult pries that read the future regarding health and food supplies through shells, small sticks, or ashes.


Also backache. A rheumatic condition of the lower back characterized by pain and rigidity.

This book is fun to read. More importantly, this book is filled with the definitions for words researchers are likely to encounter when reading journals, accessing family stories, and reviewing death certificates and other documents from the past.


Table of Contents


Guide for Use

A Medical Miscellany A-Z



Get a copy of this enjoyable reference guide. Order A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBJ0375, Price: $21.56.

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