Author Topic: Is there epilepsy in the Dial family (Durham and Northumberland coal miners)?  (Read 211 times)

Offline Peter L. Mitchell

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 268
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
I have a great-great uncle, Thomas Dial, who died in 1891 aged 25 years and the cause of death given is “Epilepsy and Transition” over a duration period of 13 years. His father was Robert Dial (1828 – 1909). When Robert was 16 his younger brother, Peter, died in 1845 aged 6 years of Apoplexy at 84A Barr House Cottages, Conside (now Consett) in Durham. A query to Durham Records Online revealed that Barr House was a charity which operated a residential hospital and alms cottages. The informant was Michael Dial, described on the certificate as “Inmate”. Hospital inmates had to be suffering from some disease or infirmity in order to stay there.

The name Michael Dial comes up two more times. A Michael Diall died of consumption on 16 April 1854 at Low Felling, Heworth at 29 years of age. Another Michael Dial died on the 3rd of January 1852 at Bensham Lunatic Asylum aged 37 years. The cause of death was given as “chronic mania; diarrhoea”.

I’m wondering whether Peter might have been epileptic, and that apoplexy might have been a “cover all” diagnosis? I’m also wondering whether the Michael Dial who died in the asylum might have been suffering from epilepsy, given that sufferers have been known to lose control of their bowels and bladders during seizures.

I’m aware that there can apparently be a genetic component in the recurrence of epilepsy in families. I’m by no means a medical expert on the subject but I’m intrigued to explore the possibility that it has recurred in my family. This is purely a suspicion, and I’d be very grateful for any comments or ideas. If it helps, I can provide some details about siblings and descendants.

Thanks,
            Peter



Offline Guy Etchells

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,589
    • View Profile
Re: Is there epilepsy in the Dial family (Durham and Northumberland coal miners)?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 22 June 22 12:15 BST (UK) »
This is one of those questions where the answer could be “Yes, almost certainly” or “No, impossible”.
There are many kinds of epilepsy with different symptoms and patterns, for instance Post Traumatic Epilepsy may develop after a head injury where the brain has been damaged (This type of epilepsy cannot be inherited).
There are other forms of epilepsy which can be inherited, photosensitive epilepsy, being one form. In other words to give a full picture would require a detailed history of the patient and I not something that could be covered here in a few pages of explanation and to attempt to do so would almost certainly produce the wrong conclusion.
Cheers
Guy
http://anguline.co.uk/Framland/index.htm   The site that gives you facts not promises!
http://burial-inscriptions.co.uk Tombstones & Monumental Inscriptions.

As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

Offline Peter L. Mitchell

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 268
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Is there epilepsy in the Dial family (Durham and Northumberland coal miners)?
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 23 June 22 00:33 BST (UK) »
Hello Guy.

Thanks for the reply, and I fully agree that it is virtually impossible to establish an accurate diagnosis without extensive medical evidence.

My purpose in posing the question was to try and find out if there are any recorded cases of epilepsy in the Dial family - notably the descendants of Peter Dial (1798 - 1873), although I could also have included the descendants of his wife's family (Mary Heslop (1799 - 1865). The best that I can hope for is that there might be one or two cases in other branches of the family as this might suggest that there is a raised possibility of it recurring. I most certainly wouldn't draw any definitive conclusions based on such limited information.

Thanks again for the "pick up" and clarification. That's what I love about this site; you get wonderful support and people are not afraid to challenge your ideas.

Regards,
             Peter

Offline garstonite

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 11,131
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Is there epilepsy in the Dial family (Durham and Northumberland coal miners)?
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 23 June 22 07:19 BST (UK) »
found this tree - any of your ancestors on this ?

https://gw.geneanet.org/andymilner?n=dial&oc=5&p=thomas
oakes,liverpool..neston..backford..poulton cum spittal(bebington)middlewich,cheshire......   sacht,helgoland  .......merrick,herefordshire adams,shropshire...tipping..ellis..  jones,garston,liverpool..hartley.dunham massey..barker. salford


Offline Peter L. Mitchell

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 268
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Is there epilepsy in the Dial family (Durham and Northumberland coal miners)?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 23 June 22 07:49 BST (UK) »
Hello Garstonite.

Thanks for doing the searching and sending the link. Unfortunately, the Michael Dial/Isabel Smith line is not mine, although I have found some records in the Bishops' Transcripts for some of theirs and Thomas's children. My line is Michael Dial (1773 - possibly 1823) and Jane Burrell nee Kear (About 1770 - unknown, and relict of Robert Burrell). Michael and Jane married in 1797 at All Saints Newcastle-upon-Tyne and their first child was Peter (named after her father, I suspect). Jane had some children by her previous family at the time of this marriage (I cannot find a record of his death - he was a pitman). The good news is that the link you have included tells me that I have the wrong ancestor for Michael and Jane. More research needed!

Separating the Dial families from this period is really challenging. Pitmen moved around a lot, and they usually followed the northern custom of naming the first-born boy after the father or grandfather. I have so far identified 15 different Dial families in Northumberland and Durham during this time and nine have a Michael as the father. It's very frustrating!

Thanks for your help.

Regards,
             Peter