A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Charles T. BARNUM
In the 1880 US Census Charles was enumerated living with his mother, and with both legs were crippled. In 1910 he was enumerated as an "inmate" at the Alms House in Chester, Michigan.
According to his death certificate, he died of paralysis, arising from ptomaine poisoning. Today we would say "food poisoning". An early theory on the causes of food poisoning involved ptomaines (from Greek ptoma, "fall, fallen body, corpse"), alkaloids found in decaying animal and vegetable matter. While some alkaloids do cause poisoning, the discovery of bacteria left the ptomaine theory obsolete and the word ptomaine is no longer used scientifically.
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