How Our Ancestors Died

A Guide for Family Historians

Simon Wills

 
Date Published :
January 2014
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
40 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781781590386
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$29.95

Overview
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What were the principal causes of death in the past? Could your ancestor have been affected? How was disease investigated and treated and what did our ancestors think about the illnesses and the accidents that might befall them? Simon Wills fascinating survey of the diseases that had an impact on their lives seeks to answer these questions. His graphic, detailed account offers an unusual and informative view of the threats that our ancestors lived with and died of.

He describes the common causes of death - cancer, cholera, dysentery, influenza, malaria, scurvy, smallpox, stroke, tuberculosis, typhus, yellow fever, venereal disease and the afflictions of old age. Alcoholism is included, as are childbirth and childhood infections, heart disease, mental illness and dementia. Accidents feature prominently – road and rail accidents, accidents at work – and death through addiction and abuse is covered as well as death through violence and war.

Simon Wills’ work gives a vivid picture of the hazards our ancestors faced and their understanding of them. It also reveals how life and death have changed over the centuries, how medical science has advanced so that some once-mortal illnesses are now curable while others are just as deadly now as they were then.

In addition to describing causes of death and setting them in the context of the times, his book shows readers how to find and interpret patient records, death certificates and other documents in order to gain an accurate impression of how their ancestors died.

About The Author
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Simon Wills is a history journalist and genealogist who writes regularly for magazines such as _Family Tree_ and _Discover your Ancestors_. He advises and has appeared in the TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? and contributes to the magazine of the same name. Simon gives history presentations and interviews at national and local events all around the UK for organisations such as The National Archives, Chalke Valley History Festival, National Trust, and the BBC. He is also a dedicated wildlife and nature photographer, and all the photographs in this book were taken by him.

REVIEWS
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“Simon Wills is a genealogist, journalist, and regular contributor to genealogy magazines. Professionally,
he works as an information specialist, writer, and advisor to the National Health Service and healthcare organizations. That experience in the healthcare industry clearly shows in this excellent guide to how our ancestors died... This is an excellent resource for putting your ancestor’s ailments into perspective.”

- FGS FORUM

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