I am very interested in domestic medicine (medicine practiced in the home) and recently began branching out from colonial medicine to 19th century “Mormon Medicine” as all of my 19th century ancestors converted to Mormonism between 1830 and 1880. Understanding the medical techniques practiced among the Mormons would add social context to my research.
I planned a trip to the Church History Library in Salt Lake City in June 2017. I reached out to a librarian prior to coming and she sent me a list of articles to read before we met. The articles focused on faith healing, an important aspect of Mormon medicine.
As a good researcher should, I skimmed the footnotes as I was reading the articles on the plan en route to Salt Lake. Lo and behold, my 2x great grandmother Hannah Adeline Hatch (Addie) was mentioned. I know of the incredible woman that Addie was and that she suffered many health problems throughout her life, but I had no idea that she was a healer or that she left behind a diary which is publicly available.
You can bet I downloaded that diary the first chance I got. I am in the process of transcribing it.
Don’t forget to read the footnotes. You never know what you might find.