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German Illness Translations

 

Submitted by Jeff Weimer

 

     The following is a compiled listing of illnesses and causes of deaths gleaned from three primary sources.  They are posted here in the hopes that they may aid family historians and genealogists in interpreting the conditions in which their ancestors lived and died.  My role has merely been the compiler.  The credit for the translation work should go to Ann
     Rempel, Dora Epp, V. Lyle von Riesen, and Adalbert Goertz.  Those who feel they have more to add to the list or important corrections may do so by notifying myself (Judith Rempel, rempelj@cadvision.com).

Reviewers who have suggested improvements: Elli Wise, Alan Peters, Adalbert Goertz, Glenn Penner and an anonymous physician from Calgary, Alberta.  Thank you. Edited by Marty McMahon (13 Apr 1997) This work may be freely copied for non-profit purposes,  No copyright is claimed.

 

GERMAN ILLNESS TRANSLATIONS

Abzehrung-emaciation; consumption

 
Altengeschwuern-varicose veins
 
Altersschwaeche & Altershalber-old age            
 
Ausschlag-skin disease
 
Auszehrung-weakness - often tuberculosis
 
Blattern-pustules, perhaps smallpox or chicken pox
 
Blinddarmentzuendung-appendicitis
 
Blutsturz-violent hemorrhage
 
Blutvergiftung-blood poisoning
 
Brauene-diphtheria
 
Brechdurchfall-bloody diarrhea - perhaps bacillary dysentery (i.e. Shigellosis)
 
Bruch Schaden-hernia
 
Brustkrankheit-?
 
Convulsionen-convulsions
 
Darmgicht, Darmkolik, & Darmsucht-intestinal afflictions - one or more could be gastroenteritis caused by bacteria
 
Lungesucht (der taru)-tuberculosis
 
Diphtherie, diphteritis-diphtheria
 
Druesenkrankheit-disease of the lymph glands - perhaps scrofula (an acute form of tuberculosis)
 
Durchfall-diarrhea
 
Durchfall und der Ruhr-dysentery
 
Engbruestigkeit-tightness of chest, asthma
 
Englischen Krankheit-rickets
 
Entkraeftung-weakness as found in old age
 
Enzuendungs Fieber-inflammation/fever
 
Epilepsie-epilepsy
 
Ertrunken-drowned
 
Faul Fieber-"rotten" fever
 
Flecken-spots-perhaps measles or typhus
 
Folgen chirurgieschen-operation result of a surgical operation
 
Fraisen-?
 
Freasal und Fleck Fieber-fever and spotted fever
 
Friesel  Pustules-could be chicken pox
 
Fruehgeburt-premature birth
 
Gallkrankheit-?
 
Gallen Fieber-infected gall bladder - perhaps bilious fever or hepatitis
 
Gedaermbrand, Gedaermfrasz-intestinal gangrene (ulcerative colitis)
 
Gelbsuch-jaundice
 
Geschwulst-tumor
 
Gicht-gout
 
Gichter-convulsive fits
 
Goldene Ader-hemorrhoids
 
Halsbrauene-quinsy, suppurative tonsillitis - perhaps strep throat
 
Halsenzuendung-tonsillitis
 
Harnruhr-diabetes insipidus
 
Herz-Brustwassersucht mit Hinzutrender Lungenlaehmug-pleurisy, emphysema
 
Herzerweiterung, Leber-Magenverhaertung-enlarged heart and hardening of the liver and stomach
 
Herzkrankheit-heart disease
 
Hitziges Fieber-typhoid fever
 
Husten-cough
 
Kaltenbrande-frostbite
 
Kaltenerkaeltung-influenza
 
Keuchhusten-whooping cough
 
Kindbette (in dem)-post partum illness
 
Knochenbruechen-broken bones
 
Knochenfaeule-osteomyelitis
 
Kolik-colic
 
Kraempfen-cramps
 
Krankheiten und Urin-illness of urine-producing organs
 
Krebs-cancer
 
Lebensschwaeche-frailty of life
 
Leibverstopfung-blockage of the belly (constipation)
 
Luftroehrenschwindzucht-bronchial (galloping) consumption - probably bronchial pneumonia
 
Lungenentzuendung-pneumonia
 
Lungenlaemung-disability of the lungs
 
Lungentuberkulose-pulmonary tuberculosis
 
Magenkrebs-stomach cancer
 
Magenoperation-stomach operation
 
Magenverhaertung-perhaps hardening of the stomach
 
Masern-measles
 
Masern und Roetheln-measles and German measles
 
Melancholie und Wahnsin-depression and madness
 
Nerven Fieber-typhus
 
Nichtbestimte Krankheit-unknown illness
 
Niederkunft (bei der)-maternity confinement
 
Nierenkrebs-kidney cancer
 
Organ.  Herzfehler-organic heart failure
 
Petechien-typhoid
 
Pocken-smallpox
 
Potatschen-spotted fever, spotted typhoid
 
Scharlach, Scharlach Fieber & Schlarachriesel-scarlet fever
 
Schlag, Schlaganfall-stroke
 
Schlagflusz-apoplectic fit, stroke
 
Schleichendem Fieber-consumption, tuberculosis
 
Schwemmen-external growth (spongy growth)
 
Schwindsucht-acute tuberculosis
 
Selbstmoerder-suicide
 
Soropkeln (?)  Verstopfung der Gekroesdruesen-blockage of intestines, tuberculosis of glands
 
Steckflusz-asthma, emphysema
 
Steinbeschwerde-kidney stones
 
Stickhusten-whooping cough
 
Tod durch Unschlingung der Nabelschnur um den Hals-Erstichung-stillbirth due to strangulation by umbilical cord
 
Ungluecksfaellen mancher Art-accidents of any kind
 
Unterleibsentzuendung-peritonitis due to intestinal bacteria released into the abdominal cavity
 
Unzeitig ad. Todtgeborene; den Wochen-in stillborn, or premature childbirth
 
Venerischen Krankheit-venereal disease, syphilis
 
Verunglueckt-accidental death
 
Wasserkopfe-hydrocephalous
 
Wassersucht-dropsy, congestive heart failure, edema
 
Weszerschen-?
 
Windgeschwulst-chicken  pox
 
Wuermern-worms
 
Zaehnen-teeth
 
Sources:
 
(1) The Kirchenbuch prepared by Dirck Tiessen (1782) in Petershagen,
  Prussia.  This is how the list started, from a single page entitled
  "Hauptkrankeiten" (main illnesses).  It was translated  by Ann Rempel
  and Dora Epp in 1996.  They humbly requested that I qualify their work
  as follows.  "Not all terms are translated or perhaps correctly
  translated.  But, but the result is the best of our ability."  For both
  Ann and Dora, German is their first language, but have lived in Canada
  and used English for 40+ years.
 
(2) A monograph by Richard Ringenberg (1942), Familienbuch der
  mennoniten Gemeinde Eichstock.   Schriften des Bayerischen Landesvereins
  fuer Familienkunde e. V., Heft 18.  Verlag Michael Laszleben, Kallmuenz
  uebert Regensburg.  The causes of death found in this monograph were
  extensively reviewed by V. Lyle von Riesen who holds a PhD and has
  taught in medical schools in the United States for 35 years.  His
  published article is entitled "Causes of Deaths in the Eichstock
  [Baveria] Mennonite congregation" and can be found in Mennonite Family
  History, XV, 4, p. 151-155. 
 
(3) Another article published in Mennonite Family History, prepared by
  Adalbert Goertz.  It appeared in the April 1991 issue as "Diseases in
  Prussian Church Records".


 

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