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Many researchers find their family members disappear from the historic records suddenly with no apparent reason.  Many of these disappearances can be attributed to epidemics.  This is a listing of the most well known of the epidemics in Britain and the United States.

Start

End

Disease/ Cause

Location

1350

 

Bubonic Plague

Worldwide

1499

 

Bubonic Plague

London UK

1507

 

Fever

UK

1551

 

Influenza

UK

1555

1563

Famine

UK

1556

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1578

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1586

 

Bubonic Plague

Chesterfield UK

1591

 

Acute Distress

UK

1593

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1596

 

Famine

UK

1603

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1612

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1617

 

Smallpox

USA

1623

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1625

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1626

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1628

1631

Smallpox

New England USA

1630

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1631

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1633

 

Smallpox

USA

1636

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1637

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1638

 

Smallpox & Spotted Fever

New England USA

1647

 

Yellow Fever

West Indies

1648

 

Smallpox

USA

1648

 

Whooping Cough

USA

1648

1649

Smallpox

Massachusetts Bay Colony USA

1654

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1657

1658

Measles

Boston USA

1659

 

Diphtheria

Massachusetts Bay Colony USA

1662

 

Smallpox

New York USA

1665

 

Bubonic Plague

UK

1668

 

Yellow Fever

New York USA

1677

 

Smallpox

Boston USA

1677

1678

Smallpox

Charlestown & Boston USA

1679

1680

Smallpox

Virginia USA

1687

 

Measles

Boston USA

1689

1690

Smallpox

New England USA

1690

 

Yellow Fever

New York USA

1693

 

Yellow Fever

Boston, MA USA

1696

 

Smallpox

Jamestown, VA USA

1699

 

Smallpox

South Carolina USA

1699

 

Yellow Fever

Charleston South Carolina & Philadelphia USA

1702

 

Scarlet Fever

Boston USA

1702

 

Yellow Fever

New York USA

1702

1703

Smallpox

Boston, MA USA

1706

 

Yellow Fever

Charleston South Carolina USA

1711

1712

Smallpox

South Carolina USA

1713

 

Measles

Boston USA

1715

1725

Smallpox

Most of the Colonies

1721

 

Smallpox

Boston USA

1723

 

Influenza

Worldwide

1723

1730

Famine

UK

1723

1730

Smallpox

Boston, New York, Philadelphia

1728

 

Yellow Fever

South Carolina USA

1729

 

Measles

Boston USA

1732

 

Yellow Fever

Charleston & New York

1732

 

Yellow Fever

South Carolina USA

1732

1733

Influenza

Worldwide

1734

 

Yellow Fever

Virginia USA

1735

1740

Smallpox, Scarlet Fever & Diphtheria

New England USA

1738

 

Smallpox

South Carolina USA

1739

1740

Measles

Boston USA

1741

 

Yellow Fever

Virginia USA

1743

 

Yellow Fever

New York USA

1747

 

Measles

Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania & South Carolina USA

1752

 

Smallpox

Boston, MA USA

1759

 

Measles

North America

1760

1761

Smallpox

Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Charleston USA

1761

 

Influenza

North America & West Indies

1762

 

Yellow Fever

Philadelphia USA

1763

 

Diphtheria

Philadelphia USA

1764

 

Smallpox

Boston, MA USA

1769

 

Diphtheria

New York USA

1772

 

Measles

North America

1772

1774

Smallpox

New England USA

1775

 

Unknown Epidemic

North America

1775

1776

Influenza

Worldwide

1778

 

Smallpox

Boston, MA USA

1781

1782

Influenza

Worldwide

1783

 

Bilious Disorder

Dover Delaware USA

1788

 

Measles

Philadelphia and New York USA

1789

 

Influenza

USA

1792

 

Smallpox

Boston, MA USA

1792

1799

Yellow Fever

USA

1793

 

A "putrid" fever and Influenza

Vermont USA

1793

 

Influenza

Virginia USA

1793

 

Influenza and a "Putrid Fever"

Vermont USA

1793

 

Many Unexplained Deaths

Pennsylvania USA

1793

 

Yellow Fever

Philadelphia USA

1794

 

Yellow Fever

Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA

1796

1797

Yellow Fever

Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA

1798

 

Yellow Fever

Philadelphia USA

1802

 

Smallpox

Nebraska USA

1803

 

Yellow Fever

New York USA

1820

1823

Fever

Nationwide USA

1822

 

Yellow Fever

New York and New Orleans USA

1826

 

Cholera

Worldwide

1826

 

Dengue Fever

USA and West Indies

1829

 

Malaria

USA

1831

 

Cholera

UK

1831

 

Cholera

USA

1831

1832

Asiatic Cholera

Nationwide USA

1832

 

Asiatic Cholera

New Orleans USA

1832

 

Cholera

New York City & other major cities USA

1832

 

Influenza

USA

1833

 

Cholera

Columbus, Ohio USA

1834

 

Cholera

New York City USA

1837

 

Smallpox

USA

1837

 

Typhus

Philadelphia USA

1841

 

Yellow Fever

Nationwide USA

1847

 

Measles

USA

1847

 

Yellow Fever

New Orleans USA

1847

1848

Influenza

Worldwide

1848

 

Cholera

Worldwide

1848

1849

Cholera

North America

1849

 

Cholera

New York USA

1849

1850

Cholera

New Orleans USA

1850

 

Cholera

Alabama, New York

1850

 

Dengue Fever

USA

1850

 

Influenza

USA

1850

 

Yellow Fever

Nationwide USA

1850

1851

Influenza

North America

1851

 

Cholera

Coles County, IL The Great Plains States & Missouri, USA

1852

 

Yellow Fever

Nationwide USA

1853

 

Cholera

Birmingham UK

1853

 

Yellow Fever

New Orleans USA

1855

 

Yellow Fever

Nationwide USA

1857

1859

Influenza

Worldwide

1860

1861

Smallpox

Pennsylvania USA

1865

 

Cholera

USA

1865

 

Smallpox

USA

1865

 

Typhus

USA

1865

1873

A series of recurring epidemics of Smallpox, Cholera, Typhus, Typhoid, Scarlet Fever & Yellow Fever

Philadelphia, New York, Boston, New Orleans, Baltimore, Memphis, & Washington D.C. USA

1868

1875

Smallpox

USA

1873

 

Cholera

USA

1873

1875

Influenza

UK Europe & North America

1878

 

Yellow Fever

New Orleans USA

1878

 

Yellow Fever

Memphis, TN USA

1885

 

Typhoid

Plymouth, Pennsylvania USA

1886

 

Yellow Fever

Plymouth, Pennsylvania USA

1886

 

Yellow Fever

Jacksonville, FL USA

1889

 

Influenza

Worldwide

1893

 

Polio

USA

1900

 

Plague

USA

1901

 

Smallpox

USA

1905

 

Yellow Fever

New Orleans USA

1907

1916

Polio

US

1917

1918

Influenza

Worldwide

1931

 

Polio

USA

1942

 

Polio

USA

 

(It should be noted that some diseases were endemic in certain areas and, even when not listed as an "epidemic", they frequently occurred.  This was the case with yellow fever and cholera in the Southern United States.)