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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My first FHL film: Amherst Hospital In-patient's Registers

With all the excitement of Australia Day and my DNA results coming in, plus my son starting school and my daughter having an adenotonsillectomy a few days ago, I haven't had a chance to report on my findings from my first ever FHL microfilm loan - the Amherst Hospital In-patient's Register (Victoria, Australia).

I knew from an index of the register that there were nine records of interest to me. Four of these related to my French/Tregonning branches, which I keep on saying are my current focus. It was these records that prompted me to order the film.

On the French/Tregonning side I found:
  • My great granduncle William Tregonning was admitted on 30 June 1871 with a fracture of the middle third of his femur. He was discharged, cured, 111 days later.
  • My great grandfather's first wife Marget [Mary] Ann French [Charlesworth] was admitted to hospital from 1 February 1881 to 12 February 1881 with pneumonia. She was cured.
  • My great-great grandfather James William French was admitted to hospital from 22 February 1881 to 27 June 1881 with chronic pneumonia. At discharge he was relieved, rather than cured. 
  • My great grandmother Elizabeth Tregonning was admitted from 8 January 1888 to 22 April 1888 with anteflexion cervical ???. She was cured.
I can't work out the final word(s) of Elizabeth Tregonning's reason for admission. Can you help?

I would like to know what it was. It seems to be some sort of problem with a tilted uterus and given the timing I would very much like to know the nature of this problem. At this stage, she was married to Joseph Tregonning (not related, as far as I know) but it seems the family had fallen on hard times. I am trying to determine if Joseph Tregonning was insolvent in 1887, and went to gaol shortly after. A Joseph Tregonning fitting his description did. Certainly the problem that hospitalised her did not cause Elizabeth infertility, as she bore five more children.

Many of the hospital stays were very long. I wondered how the hospital was funded and what the conditions were like. I've discovered that there is a book describing the history of the hospital at the National Library of Australia, so reading that is now on my list of things to do.

On my Bennett side I found:
  • My great grandfather Henry Michael Bennett was admitted to hospital aged 6 on 7 May 1871. He left 40 days later on 15 June 1871, cured. He had injured his elbow joint in an accident.
  • Henry Michael Bennett was admitted again at age 12 on 20 March 1877 with a contused wound. He was discharged, cured, on April 24.
  • My great grandaunt Elizabeth Bennett was admitted on 18 January 1883 with cephalagia. At just 20 years of age she had been suffering a headache for two years. The register indicates that she was discharged, cured, on 11 March 1883. I hope she was.
  • My great-great grandfather James Bennett was admitted 22 February 1883 and discharged, cured, on 1 April 1883. He had been treated for a fracture caused by a horse kick.
  • Elizabeth Bennett was admitted again on 9 July 1883 and discharged, cured, on 22 August 1883. I haven't worked out the cause of her admission.
I am having trouble reading a few of the entries here.

Henry Michael Bennett (at age 6) was admitted with:

Can you make out the first word?

I'm also having trouble with the comments on his case. Something about the acute inflammation being relieved, but his arm is bent at a right angle and immobile.

What was Elizabeth Bennett admitted with, in her second admission of 1883?
 Any help on making out he words would be appreciated.

The best bit
That's all very interesting, and in some cases may be even more so when I learn more about what was going on in their lives at the time.

The best bit was that the "relatives" column showed names of parents, even for adults. At long last, I have evidence that my great-great grandfather James Bennett's parents were Michael Job Bennett and Mary Ann Barnes. I'd had my eye on the baptism record for that particular family group for some time so it's great to find that it really is him.

I consider my first foray into FHL films a huge success!

My next FHL film is another hospital admission record. There are only one or two entries in the index for that register that may be of interest to me, but if I have the right people... if all the columns are filled... I may solve another little mystery.

As usual, if you have a connection to any of the people mentioned please get in touch with me via comments or the email address on my "About Me" page. I'd love to hear from you.


    1. Hi Shelley

      The first one is hard. I have seen 'degen' in a lot of medical descriptions, for 'degeneration' I imagine. Try a few Google searches with combinations of words. When I first saw it I thought 'Grand Designs" ... too much TV I guess.

      I think the next one is "Synovitis". Google is wonderful - just put in what you can read and see what it comes up with.

      "He obtained relief as far [as] the acute inflammation was concerned, but the arm remained bent at a right angle, & immobile."

      Elizabeth Bennett had "Arthritis"


    2. Hi Shelley

      Carole has got it all sorted I see and I think it's synovitis too. I'm stumped by the gran.degen though -I think Carole's bet on degeneration is the likely one.

      Sounds like the film review was a big successs. It occurred to me to wonder if they collected the parents' names etc in case they needed to fill out death certificates? I've looked at a few but early ones so not sure how prevalent this was.


    3. Just got round to reading this post...I think Elizabeth Tregonning had a crooked neck caused from degeneration. Will check with the neurosurgeon when I go to work on Tuesday.

      So it's Anteflexion, Cervical from degeneration.
      Agree with Carole on the Synovitis.

    4. Aha! I think you're right about it being her neck. I was having great difficulty imagining what kind of gynecological disorder the hospital would have been willing to take on and able to treat... This makes much more sense. For the record, you get completely different google results for "antiflexion cervical" (= uterine issues) vs "anti flexion cervical" (= neck issues). Thanks all for the help.

    5. I never ever thought to look for hospital records! Yet another place to expand my search. Thank you!

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