Historical Causes of Death
Death certificates or registers can have information about the cause of death. For records before the mid-20th century, some terms used then are no longer familiar today. There are several websites that give definitions and interpretations to diseases and medical conditions found in these records.
Online Resources[edit | edit source]
- Old Medical Terminology at RootsWeb.com
- Glossary of Medical Terms used in the 18th and 19th Centuries
- Old Medical Terms at Fenton Historical Society
- Old Disease Names Frequently found on Death Certificates at USGenNet.org
International Classification of Diseases[edit | edit source]
- History of International Classification of Diseases (ICD) - code used to indicate cause of death on United States and other countries death certificates. The ICD was first published in 1893.
- International Classification of Diseases at Wolfbane.com - links to all versions of the International Classification of Diseases code; use the version that corresponds with the year the death was recorded.
- additional article about International Classification of Diseases
Coroner's Records[edit | edit source]
A coroner is a government or public official who is in charge of investigating any deaths by inquest that occur under unusual circumstances or appear to be from unnatural causes. If the coroner has questions about the death, they can order an autopsy to be performed and hold an inquest if the autopsy reveals inconsistencies to a natural death.
Coroner's reports can include information about the deceased and their circumstances of their death including cause of death.
How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]
Some coroner's records have been digitized and are online. Below is a list by locality of known coroner's records.
If records are not available online for the location you need, you must contact the government entity in charge of inquests to see if records exist. You may also want to check city, county, state, or country archives.
Further Reading[edit | edit source]