May 12, 2021

Old Disease Names Frequently Found on Death Certificates: What Would They be Called Today?

What killed grandma?

If you find a death certificate for great-great-grandma and it lists the cause of death as “Hectical Complaint,” you probably will ask, “What’s that?”

Yes, I had to look that up. Luckily, there is a one-page “dictionary” on USGenNet that can be a very useful tool for any genealogist who is reading old documents. It shows old medical terminology and then shows the modern-day name for each.

You can find Old Disease Names Frequently found on Death Certificates at

My thanks to Pierre Clouthier of Progeny Genealogy Inc. for pointing to that page.