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Epidemics



"In case you ever wondered why a large number of your ancestors disappeared during a certain period in history, this might help. Epidemics have always had a great influence on people - and thus influencing, as well, the genealogists trying to trace them. Many cases of people disappearing from records can be traced to dying during an epidemic or moving away from the affected area. Some of the major epidemics in the United States are listed below:

1657 Boston Measles
1687 Boston Measles
1690 New York Yellow Fever
1713 Boston Measles
1729 Boston Measles
1732-3 Worldwide Influenza
1738 South Carolina Smallpox
1739-40 Boston Measles
1747 CT,NY,PA,SC Measles
1759 N. Amer [areas inhabited by white people] Measles
1761 N. Amer and West Indies Influenza
1772 N. America Measles
1775 N. Amer [especially hard in NE] epidemic Unknown
1775-6 Worldwide [one of the worst epidemics] Influenza
1783 Dover, DE ["extremely fatal"] Bilious Disorder
1788 Philadelphia and New York Measles
1793 Vermont [a "putrid" fever] and Influenza
1793 Virginia [killed 500 in 5 counties in 4 weeks] Influenza
1793 Philadelphia [one of the worst epidemics] Yellow Fever
1793 Harrisburg, PA [many unexplained deaths] Unknown
1793 Middletown, PA [many mysterious deaths] Unknown
1794 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1796-7 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1798 Philadelphia, PA [one of the worst] Yellow Fever
1803 New York Yellow Fever
1820-3 Nationwide [starts-Schuylkill River, PA and spreads] "Fever"
1831-2 Nationwide [brought by English emigrants] Asiatic Cholera
1832 NY City and other major cities Cholera
1837 Philadelphia Typhus
1841 Nationwide [especially severe in the south] Yellow Fever
1847 New Orleans Yellow Fever
1847-8 Worldwide Influenza
1848-9 North America Cholera
1850 Nationwide Yellow Fever
1850-1 North America Influenza
1852 Nationwide [New Orleans-8,000 die in summer] Yellow Fever
1855 Nationwide [many parts] Yellow Fever
1857-9 Worldwide [one of the greated epidemics] Influenza
1860-1 Pennsylvania Smallpox

1865-73 Philadelphia, NY, Boston, New Orleans} {Smallpox)
Baltimore, Memphis, Washington DC {Cholera)
[A series of recurring epidemics of:}
{Typhus
{Typhoid
{Scarlet Fever
{Yellow Fever
1873-5 N. America and Europe Influenza
1878 New Orleans [last great epidemic] Yellow Fever
1885 Plymouth, PA Typhoid
1886 Jacksonville, FL Yellow Fever
1918 Worldwide Influenza [high point yr] more people were hospitalized in WWI from this epidemic than wounds. US Army training camps became death camps, with 80% death rate in some camps

Finally, these specific instances of cholera were mentioned:
1833 Columbus, OH
1834 New York City
1849 New York
1851 Coles Co., IL, The Great Plains, and Missouri


s.s.burke@juno.com


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