Compiling Your Family Medical History
One of the great benefits of doing genealogical research is the ability to compile a family health history. While not all conditions are inherited, genetics can have a major impact in a number of different ways. Death certificates, doctor and hospital records, and family stories can all help you put your health history together. And remember that as far as genetics are concerned, you only have to go back as far as your great-grandparents. As with any oral interviews, use specific questions instead of general, open-ended ones. And be on the lookout for colloquialisms. For example, you may find references to family members who had “sugar.” This is a colloquialism for diabetes. USA Today recently published an article about compiling your family medical history that includes links to a number of other helpful sites.