Epidemics of the USA


Melissa Franks Gantt

This came through the WILLETT mailing list. It was very informative.

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 North America and West Indies Influenza

1772 North 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 VA [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 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:}



{Scarlet Fever

{Yellow Fever

1873-5 North America and Europe Influenza

1878 New Orleans [last great epidemic] Yellow Fever

1885 Plymouth, PA Typhoid

1886 Jacksonville, FL Yellow Fever

1918 Worldwide[high point yr] more people were {Influenza

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