Tag Archives: cause of death

Is there a doctor in the house, or perhaps a vet?

8 Jul

The death certificate for my great grandfather Henry Herbert HEMSLEY arrived in the post today, and it has left me more than a little confused.

He died on the 1st July 1921 at Stone House Cottages, Buxted aged 38 years. The informant was Charles William HEMSLEY his brother from Brighton.

Now I always been told that he had died from sunstroke or heatstroke, but the cause of death recorded on the certificate appears to be Septic Pleuro-Pneumonia (9 days). The certificate also records that there was no post mortem and the death was certified by E. H. Sweet MRCS.

Naturally I wanted to find out what septic pleuro-pneumonia was? What were the symptoms? How did it develop? Where did it come from? Is it something else I can add to my list of potential illness I might have inherited?

However nearly all the references I can find to the condition on Google relate to animals and mainly horses. Henry was a farm labourer, but I am sure that is just a coincidence.

What I really need to find is a doctor who is on call to answer genealogical queries about medical issues in plain English, rather than have me fumbling around in a specialised field which I don’t have the first idea about.

Does anyone know of such as doctor? And make it quick please, because I can feel a genealogy induced headache coming on!

Mixed results in the mail

9 Mar

There were two arrivals in the mail for me today, the death certificate for Alicia KINGHORN (first wife of 3x great grandfather Thomas KINGHORN) and the results of a probate search for Thomas KINGHORN himself.

Alicia KINGHORN died 3rd September 1846 (aged 35 years) in Westminster, Middlesex and what is rather puzzling is the cause of death, “General Debility”. Now to me this doesn’t sound like the cause of death, most definitions seem to suggest this means a loss of (or lack of) strength, I would have thought the real cause of death was whatever caused the general debility, and that I shall probably never know.

An unexpected detail on the death certificate is the place of death “No. 5 George Place”, her husband (the informant) was also living there, so presumably this was the family home. It is an address I have not come across in my research so far, and may be the key I need to finding where their children were baptised, because they weren’t where I was expecting to find them!

The second piece of mail through the door was a letter from the Probate Service telling me that they had been unable to find a will or grant of probate. This surprised me, because of his large family (by different wives), I had expected something to be in place to stop any arguments over who had what when he died in 1863. So unless they didn’t stop arguing until after the three years that the Probate Service searched it looks like I am out of luck. Perhaps he had nothing for them to argue about?

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