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Legacy Tip: how to enter cause of death

Legacy's Family View displays five fields of information for the main person and their spouse. One of the default fields displays the person's Cause of Death. (See the image below.)


The person's Cause of Death will only display if you have already typed it into the Cause of Death field. This field is located in the Medical Notes. Just click on a person's Notes icon, and click on the Medical tab.


Whatever is entered in this Cause of Death field will appear in the Family View.

I've seen a lot of interesting causes of death in my ancestors' records. This ancestor's death record says he was "gored by a bull". That doesn't sound fun. Have you seen anything unique in your ancestors' records?


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Jeff - you might point out that you can make the death cause private, by using [[ ]]. I had reason to do this recently when I found that one of my ancestresses died of something not discussed in polite company and I didn't want to upset my mother. Pat

My GG Grandfather was drowned in the Findhorn River while chasing poachers.

My husband's grandfather literally fell down drunk - down the steps of his favourite hotel watering hole :) Guess it wasn't funny at the time but more like poetic justice...

One mistake I made when I first started entering the cause of death was not realizing the cause of death would end up being in the middle of a sentence! I was typing in Heart attack or Pneumonia and then the sentence looked funny when it printed because it would have a capital in the middle of a sentence. Once I figured that out it was easy to go back (doing a search) and correct all of the causes of death I had entered.

I enter the cause of death from the death certificate (cause, due to, due to, etc.), and include a full description in the notes section below, but my immediate (living) family members also uses this section to record health issues. We make this section private as previously mentioned. My grandmother was recently hospitalized, and the doctors appreciated the report while they waited several days for medical records from another hospital.

My great-great-grandfather 'Accidentally drowned by straying into the River [Wear] whilst intoxicated'

Gored by a bull must not be that uncommon - my husband's ggrandfather, Benjamin Garner was gored by a bull in 1876 in Beaver City, NE.

My great-great grandfather was also gored to death by a bull -and you are right, it certainly does not sound like fun!


What caused 'The Cause of Death' to show up in the middle of a sentence. Did you enter it under the person's 5 information titles or go to Medical Notes? And, was the sentence written in any special locaction?

Hmmm... interesting.. .I have found some unusual causes of deaths, in some very archaic terms... like "stoppage." HUH???

Where do we find modern-day translations of these old terms??

Not one of my relatives, but I did review a list of deaths for a county where a child was listed as dying from teething!

A person linked to me by marriage in my Mum's family tree has the cause of death recorded as 'visitation of god in a fit'. This woman died in England in 1844.

A first cousin 3 times removed died in Dec 1917. His death certificate notes "found dead in the woods, supposed he froze to death"

I had an uncle who at the age of 94 fell from his bed, became entangled in the cord to his electric blanket and strangled himself!

One of my first cousins 3 times removed died in 1912 in Scotland, age 4. Death registry lists cause of death as "Cut Throat - murder - Hemorrhagic Shock". Record of Corrected Entry lists the death as "Haemorrhage and shock from incised wounds on neck". Adopted mother had killed the child then committed suicide by hanging herself ("Asphysia due to strangulation").

My 4th Great-Grandfather came out worse for wear after having an argument with a train in 1872. Death certificate states "killed by a railway train but whether by accident or not there is no evidence to show". Inquest suggests he'd had a pint too many "Some neighbours also coming by the same train said he called at the Wheatsheaf, Bowbeech which he left at 10.00 p.m. He was afterwards seen at the crossing in a leaning posture at a quarter to twelve, this being the last time he was seen alive".

I had an ancestor who was shot dead in bed. It wasn't his bed .....

A distant relative by marriage....

*MP: MUNGER, Asahel (1805-1841): m'd 1825 HOISINGTON, Sarah Elizabeth; s/o Asahel
and Lydia (Boland) Munger Sr.; was a carpenter and joiner; became deranged and in a fit of
religious fanatacism, expecting God to work a miracle, he fastened himself over the flames of his
forge and died three days later from burns leaving a widow and a child.

Pat...to be private did you use two straight parenthesis side by side with a space inbetween the two sets? I've never tried this.

For archaic medical terms check out:


My great Grandfather was gored by a bull here in Oz.

My husband's gggrandpa was kicked in the head by a mule/horse? and was killed instantly. They loaded him a wagon to bring him home. Upon arriving at the resident and his wife seeing her dead husband she dropped dead of a heart attack.

I saw one death record that said the man died of senility as the primary cause and hit by a train as the secondary cause.
And one of my early English ancestors was thrown in a snake pit.

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