View Full Version : Travelling Surgeon
30-01-2010, 9:17 AM
My 4x grandfather is listed as a surgeon on all his childrens marriage certs. His name John Douglass, presumably born around 1780 - 1790. His wife Rebecca was born 1791 in Whitby. Seven children found, born between 1811 and 1824 in Hull, Sheffield, ,Whitby,Sunderland and one born in York christened in Gateshead.All children end up on the census's living in York. John Douglass was dead before 1846. Why would a surgeon in that time be moving around so much ? and any suggestions on how to find him in any medical archives appreciated. I am now living in USA so cannot visit archives in England.Thanks
30-01-2010, 9:33 AM
I think you need additional proof that John Douglas was a surgeon, say from local directories of the relevant time. In my family, at least three children say their father was a surgeon or medical doctor on their marriage certificates, but he wasn't. Further investigation showed he was a medical botanist which is a form of herbalist. He had no conventional medical training at all. A cousin who contacted the British Medical Association was given details of a man of the same name, but as he didn't consider the age at all, he wasted time tracing the wrong man. PW
30-01-2010, 9:51 AM
Yes, I have checked local trade directories for the towns and time frames and find nothing. He was listed on one certificate as a physician but as we know back then sometimes the only qualification was owning a hack saw. The highest standing of his sons was that of Railway station clerk. One was listed as a druggist before being a painter in later years.Another a night watchman who was found strangled.
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