1735-1736 Morrison Deaths in New Hampshire

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1735-1736 Morrison Deaths in New Hampshire

Post by Felix_W_Morrison+01 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:05 pm

In some of the genealogical histories of the Morrison family, there are comments about the unlikelihood of family members dying in the same year. This is especially true of the accounts of Captain James H. Morrison (1628-1735), his wife Sarah J Evans Morrison (1628-1736), their son John Morrison (1650-1735), his wife Jeanette Steele Morrison (1654-1736), their son James Morrison, Sr (1685-1736) and his wife Mary Gibson Morrison (1690-1736).
A very probable cause of this was “The Deadly “Throat Distemper” of 1735-36.” According to a story in Historic Ipswich on April 29, 2017 , "An epidemic of “throat distemper” raged in New England between 1735 and 1740. The contagion struck first in New Hampshire, killing almost 1% of the population. The epidemic spread south through the Massachusetts Bay Colonies, and eventually into Connecticut. By the time it had run its course, 5000 people had died, and more than 75 percent of the deaths where children."

Ernest Caulfield described the path of the disease south into Massachusetts in his “A History of the Terrible Epidemic, Vulgarly called the Throat Distemper, as it Occurred in his Majesty’s New England Colonies between 1735 and 1740” and “The Throat Distemper of 1735-1740 Part II.” (excerpt below)
“It has long been known that there was an epidemic of some disease in Kingston, New Hampshire, in 1735, but…this was merely a small part of a greater epidemic which involved most of the inhabited regions of New England and caused great loss of life wherever it appeared. In some of the towns nearly half of all the children died and at times it was feared that the disease would actually destroy the colonies. This strange “Plague in the Throat” was not like any disease with which they were familiar. They knew that whooping-cough and measles could spread among children, but never had any such mortality accompanied a childhood epidemic.”

So, the above is a possible reason for their similar death years other than coincidence or poor genealogical research.
Fil Morrison

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