Get the CD, Book or Download the Glossary

A Glossary of Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death

The Genealogist's Resource for Interpreting Causes of Death.

Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms is a collection of archaic medical terms and their old and modern definitions.  The primary focus of this web site is to help decipher the Causes of Death found on Mortality Lists, Certificates of Death and Church Death Records from the 19th century and earlier. This web site will be updated often and as new information is received. My intention is to collect and record old medical terms in all European languages. The English and German lists are the most extensive to date.

Each term is only listed once. Check under the other headings if the term is not in the alphabetical lists. Also, try the Google search tool below.




 Please send me an email with any unlisted words or phrases that you have come across. They will be added to the "undefined" page after review. All new terms will eventually be added to the alphabetical lists. Please include the language that the term is from.

I am happy to help transcribe and translate your hard to read Causes of Death. If possible, please include a scan of the record with your email. It is always more helpful to see the handwritten original when trying to figure out the difficult words.

* Please email to me your examples of causes of death so that I can paste them into the web site. I rely on your help to make this website accurate, thorough and interesting by including your input and feedback.

email to:  Rudy's List

 If you find this site useful and entertaining please consider donating $3 to help support this website. It will be used to help pay for the hosting fees and to increase the reference library. You will get access to the download page where I have linked the Glossary in Excel and PDF formats.

These lists contain the results of years of research, deciphering thousands of Church Death Records, Mortality Lists and other sources. Then finding definitions for each Cause of Death in my collection of antique medical books and online reference web sites. I welcome all inquiries and more than welcome any additional terms or definitions that are not presently included.

I am especially interested in definitions from various time periods that may contrast the changing meaning of the term over time.

Recent Additions
and Updates:
Morbus Coxæ
Essential Hypertension
Lysol Poisoning
Chagas Disease
Black Dog
Noli me Tangere
Bouton Chancreux
Joint Evil
Coup de Soleil
Siberian Plague
Military Fever
Mort de Chien
Milk Reek
Tic Doloureux
Fungus Hæmatodes
Visitation of God
Delirium e Potu
Watery Gripes
Scald Head
King's Evil
Rising of Lights
Malignant Fever
Yellow Jaundice
Rodent Ulcer
Pemphigus Vulgaris
Toxic Goitre
Pyorrhea Alveolaris