American Epidemics

Genealogical research often involves a detailed search for people who disappear from local records, or migrate to parts unknown. This list of american epidemics may help in finding the cause.

1657 Boston, MA Measles
1687 Boston, MA Measles
1690 New York Yellow Fever
1713 Boston, MA Measles
1729 Boston, MA Measles
1732-3 Worldwide Influenza
1738 South Carolina Smallpox
1739-40 Boston, MA Measles
1747 CT, NY, PA, SC Measles
1759 N. America Measles: areas inhabited by white people
1761 N. America and West Indies Influenza
1772 N. America Measles
1775 N. America Unknown epidemic: especially hard in NE
1775-6 Worldwide Influenza: one of the worst epidemics
1780 Boston, MA Yellow Fever: first outbreak in US, more than 400 deaths
1783 Dover, DE “Extremely fatal” bilious disorder
1788 Philadelphia and New York Measles
1793 Vermont A “putrid” fever and Influenza
1793 Virginia Influenza: killed 500 in 5 counties in 4 weeks
1793 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever: 4,544 deaths
1793 Harrisburg, PA Many unexplained deaths
1793 Middletown, PA Many unexplained deaths
1794 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1794 Baltimore, MD Yellow Fever: 360 deaths
1796 New Orleans, LA Yellow Fever
1796-7 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1797 Baltimore, MD Yellow Fever: 545 deaths
1798 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever: 3,645 death
1798 New York Yellow Fever: 2,086 deaths
1798 Boston, MA Yellow Fever: 145 deaths
1800 Baltimore, MD Yellow Fever: 1,197 deaths
1803 New York Yellow Fever
1819 New Orleans, LA Yellow Fever: 3,000 deaths
1820-3 Nationwide “Fever” – started Schuylkill River and spread
1822 New York and New Orleans Yellow Fever
1831-2 Nationwide Asiatic Cholera: brought by English emigrants
1832 NY City and other major cities Cholera
1832 New Orleans, LA Asiatic Cholera: over 1,000 deaths
1832 Ayrshire towns of Stevenston, Dalry and Kilbride Cholera
1833 Columbus, OH Cholera
1834 New York City Cholera
1837 Philadelphia, PA Typhus
1837 Great Plains Smallpox
1841 Nationwide Yellow Fever: especially severe in the south
1847 New Orleans, LA Yellow Fever
1847-8 Worldwide Influenza
1848-9 North America Cholera
1849 New York Cholera
1849-50 New Orleans, LA Cholera: 3,000 deaths
1850 Nationwide Yellow Fever
1850 Alabama, New York Cholera
1850-1 North America Influenza
1851 Coles Co., IL, The Great Plains, and Missouri Cholera
1852 Nationwide Yellow Fever
1853 New Orleans, LA Yellow Fever: 8,000 died
1853 Mobile, AL Yellow Fever: 1,191 deaths
1853 Vicksburg, MS Yellow Fever: 500 deaths
1853 Lake Providence, LA. Yellow Fever: 165 deaths
1853 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever: 128 deaths
1853 Jackson, MS Yellow Fever: 112 deaths
1855 Nationwide Yellow Fever
1857-9 Worldwide Influenza: one of the greatest epidemics
1860-1 Pennsylvania Smallpox
1865-73 Philadelphia, NY, Boston, New Orleans, Baltimore, Memphis, Washington DC Smallpox, a series of recurring epidemics of Cholera, Typhus, Typhoid, Scarlet Fever, Yellow Fever
1867 Galveston, TX Yellow Fever: 1,150 deaths
1873 Memphis, TN Yellow Fever
1873-5 N. America and Europe Influenza
1878 Mississippi Yellow Fever: 3,165 deaths
1878 Memphis, TN Yellow Fever
1878 New Orleans, LA Yellow Fever: last great epidemic
1878 Nationally Yellow Fever: an estimated 74,000 cases resulting in 15,934 deaths
1879 Memphis, TN Yellow Fever
1885 Chicago, IL water-borne disease
1885 Plymouth, PA Typhoid
1886 Jacksonville, FL Yellow Fever
1891-2 Chicago, IL Influenza
1900 Galveston, TX Cholera
1901 New York Influenza
1902 Alaska Measles
1904 Vermont Polio
1905 New Orleans, LA Yellow Fever: last US outbreak
1914 University of Illinois Scarlet Fever
1916 New York City Polio
1916 Midwest Influenza – Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati and other midwestern cities
1918 Worldwide [high point yr] Influenza: 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
1949 Nationwide Polio

6 Responses to American Epidemics

  1. Betty S. Zeigler says:

    My great, great, grandparents & a son died in the 1853 yellow fever epidemic (Lake Providence, LA). I would like more information if available. They were: Joseph K. Merry, Susan G. Saltenberer and Benjamin Merry. JKM & SGSM were b. in NJ.

  2. Janet Doe says:

    Looking for the kind of fever that happened in WV In 1886 that killed 4of my ancestors in September and October. Any help would be appreciated.

  3. Bob Wood says:

    Need to know of possibility of epidemic in late 1904 or early 1905. My grandfather Augustus Dolphous Wood (AKA Gussie) died January 1905 of unknown cause, possibly of some unknown disease.

  4. Karen L Day says:

    There were so many death’s in a lot of my families in the 1880’s so I googles Epidemics of the 1880’s and….

    From what I could find by Google and searching Morris Co. NJ in the US Mortality Census there were quite a few contagious pandemics going around. You had the forth Major Outbreak of Cholera, 1863-1879 and the fifth one from 1881-1896; Consumption and also Diphtheria. So I found out why one of my family lost 10 of their 12 children. They must have spread to one another one of the above and that’s why they lost so many family members in the 1880’s.

  5. Karen L Day says:

    Great Site! Very informative, thank you for your hard work!

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