Was Your Ancestor A Doctor?
October 18, 2013
Your ancestor may have been a medical professional. If so, usually there is an indication of their occupation on census records, in county histories, city directories, or passed down by their descendants. MGC has several sources that show physicians from earlier times.
A Cyclopedia of American Medical Biography shows prominent deceased physicians and surgeons from 1610-1910. The entries include date and place of birth, marriage and death, as well as the maiden name of the wife. The American Medical Directory lists legally qualified physicians across the country in 1906 and shows their date of birth, license date, and in some, the college they graduated. An example is Jas W. Foster who is listed under "Kansas City" as being born in 1847, graduating from Ohio Medical College, receiving his state licensed in 1883, residing as 5002 St. Johns, and having an office at 6 West Fifth Street.
There are also two books published by the American Medical Association (AMA): Medical Obituaries and the Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929. These titles are comprised of the AMA’s master file that includes African-American physicians, both male and female, female physicians, and the self-designated eclectic, homeopathic and osteopathic practitioners. Dr. Foster evidently was not a member of AMA, as he is not listed in this book. Another resource is a two-volume set of Hooper’s Medical Dictionary (1843). It describes types of diseases and conditions these physicians would have treated.
Midwest Genealogy Center