FAMILY TREE OF WILLIAM IRVINE
His Older Sister: Margaret
2. Margaret - First Daughter of John & Elizabeth Irvine
6. Henry #1
7. Henry #2
9. Jane (Jeanie)
10. Helen (Nellie)
11. Janet (Jennie)
Birth of Margaret Irvine
1861 Register 483 Kilsyth Entry 47
On February 24th at Newtown Kilsyth
Father: John Irvine Engine Driver
Mother: Elisabeth Irvine M.S. Gressam married 9th Decr. 1858 Larbert
Informant: John Irvine father present
Marriage of Margaret Irvine
None found. Marriage Index of Scotland searched to 1920.
Death of Margaret Irvine
1886 Register 495 Cumbernauld County Dumbarton Entry 52
On July 18th at 2 30 p.m. at Auchinstarry Road Cumbernauld
Margaret Irvine aged 25 single
Father: John Irvine, Underground Manager
Mother: Elizabeth Irvine M.S. Grassam
Cause: Phthisis 3 months cert. by John Lind Surgeon Kilsyth
Informant: John Irvine, father present
Cause of death for Wm Irvine’s sister, Margaret was given as "Phthisis". A 1913 Webster's dictionary defines “phthisis” as "A wasting or consumption of the tissues. The term was formerly applied to many wasting diseases, but is now usually restricted to pulmonary phthisis, or consumption. See Consumption." The term "consumption" was used in the past to refer to pulmonary tuberculosis.
An Ovid Medline search for the keyword "phthisis" went directly to category headings pertaining either to eye disorders or tuberculosis. In 1886, "phthisis" possibly had a usage in the medical literature not used today.
From the Archaic Medical Terms - a resource for geneologists and historians: “Phthisis [ty'sis] literally means a wasting disease, but almost invariably will mean pulmonary tuberculosis; Any debilitating lung or throat affections; a severe cough; asthma Phthisis Pulmonalis."
Click here for the etymology the word. "PHTHISIS or PHTHYSIS - Waste away, as in pine away; wasting disease primarily TUBERCULOSIS or TBC, before the exact cause of TBC was known; one of the key signs was body 'wasting.'”
We suspect that "phthisis" was used back then to describe a chronic lung disease, usually infectious and usually tuberculosis. Remember they didn't have the technology or microbiological knowledge of infectious diseases 100 years ago. So, it seems that Margaret Irvine probably died of a chronic lung infection, most likely tuberculosis.
"I lost my sister when she was 25 and I (was) 23. She was like a second mother to me, and we were more to each other than any of the others younger could be, for I went out to have a home of my own with a younger sister to keep house. So now I'm into my 84th year with only 2 sisters left out of 11 in the family." (Wm Irvine letter dated 2/21/46 to Ellen Pincetl & Hans Sutter.)