Scott County, Missouri

Information on Epidemics


The information below is contributed by Janeth Hargis. This information may not be copied or used in any publication or for any other purpose without the contributor's written consent.


        If you ever wondered why a large number of your ancestors seemed to disappear during a certain period in history, it may have been due to an epidemic. Epidemics have always had a great influence on people and therefore the genealogists trying to trace them. Many cases of people disappearing from records can be attributed to people 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
1732-33 Worldwide: Influenza
1738 South Carolina: Smallpox
1739-40 Boston: Measles
1747 Conn, NY, PA & SC: Measles
1759 North America (areas inhabited by white people): Measles
1761 North America & West Indies: Influenza
1772 North America (especially hard in New England): Epidemic (Unknown)
1775-76 Worldwide: Influenza (one of worst flu epidemics)
1788 Philadelphia & NY: Measles
1793 Vermont: Influenza and a "putrid fever"
1793 Virginia: Influenza (killed 500 people in 5 counties in 4 weeks
1793 Philadelphia: Yellow Fever (one of worst)
1783* Delaware (Dover) "extremely fatal" bilious disorder
1793 Pennsylvania (Harrisburg & Middletown) many unexplained deaths
1794 Philadelphia: Yellow Fever
1796-97 Philadelphia: Yellow Fever
1798 Philadelphia: Yellow Fever (One of worst)
1803 New York: Yellow Fever
1820-23 Nationwide "fever" (starts on Schuylkill River, PA & spreads)
1831-32 Nationwide: Asiatic Cholera (brought by English emigrants)
1832 New York & other major cities: Cholera
1837 Philadelphia: Typhus
1841 Nationwide: Yellow Fever (especially severe in South)
1847 New Orleans: Yellow Fever
1847-48 Worldwide: Influenza
1848-49 North America: Cholera
1850 Nationwide: Yellow Fever
1850-51 North America: Influenza
1852 Nationwide: Yellow Fever (New Orleans 8,000 die in summer)
1855 Nationwide (many parts) Yellow Fever
1857-59 Worldwide: Influenza (one of disease's greatest epidemics)
1860-61 Pennsylvania: smallpox
1865-73 Philadelphia, NY, Boston, New Orleans, Baltimore, Memphis & Washington DC: a series of recurring epidemics of Smallpox, Cholera, Typhus, Typhoid, Scarlet Fever & Yellow Fever
1873-75 North America & Europe: Influenza
1878 New Orleans: Yellow Fever (last great epidemic of disease)
1885 Plymouth, PA: Typhoid
1886 Jacksonville, FL: Yellow Fever
1918 Worldwide: Influenza (High point year) More people hospitalized in World War I from influenza than wounds. US Army training camps became death camps- with 80% death rate in some camps.




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