19 February 2014

Hospital Records -- Where Are They? What Might You Learn?

I always like reading articles that remind me a forgotten avenue of research or inform me of one I hadn’t considered before.  The former was the case with Robin Foster’s Seven places to find hospital records (Examiner.com).

When looking at a death certificate, though I always pay attention to who, what, where and when, if I am seeking more information, my focus is typically on “where” is the person buried (and are there other family buried there?) and “who” handled the funeral/cremation (did they do the same for other family members?). 

I have sometimes flirted with information regarding the hospital and that often is more in the context to see if a local newspaper may have published hospital admission (and related) information.

Or, if there is a chance that a person was “committed” for psychiatric reasons, I have sometimes sought those records.

Given Robin’s list, I decided to what the NC Archives has in its collection.  I learned that it has a lot of non-textual (aka photographs) records.  I also found the following kinds of records:
+ English and British Records (pre-end of Revolutionary War) – many entries referencing Greenwich Hospital
+ Maps showing hospitals amongst other landmarks
+ Military hospital records
+ Organizational records (e.g. Rex Hospital School of Nursing)
+ Private Collections (e.g. New Marine Hospital, Wilmington, 1858-1859)
+ Soldiers’ Home Association Hospital Registers et al
+ State Hospital records
+ Small record collections such as:
+ Accounts and reports for City Hospital of Wilmington, 1897-1898
+ Elizabeth City Hospital Company (folder includes 2 civil actions, 1916, 1918)
+ Petition for and commitment of Albert Smith to the State Hospital for epileptics, 1927
+ Rex Hospital records (two suits, John McLeod vs. David W. Stone & H. Harris, trustees of Rex Hospitals vs. R. P. Finch) 1843-1844

and many more types of records.

To date, I have only examined the Soldiers’ Home Association records and I just may have to check out some other of the listed records.

Have you researched into Hospital Records? Where have you found them?  What made them invaluable to your research?

Editor’s Note: Some related Upfront with NGS posts that you might find interesting

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