Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

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Barone88
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Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby Barone88 » 04 Sep 2015, 22:05

I am currently copying the deaths for 1860 for Altavilla Milicia, Sicily and I have never come across so many deaths in one year, most of them children, there is about 240 deaths for 1860 in this small town. Is there anyway to find out what was happening, it had to be a sickness of some sort? Thanks,

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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby Anizio » 15 Sep 2015, 02:39

Do none of the deaths state a cause? Often towns will include causes of deaths on death records, especially parish records for that time period. If you cannot find anything in the civil records, check the parish records.
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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby Barone88 » 18 Sep 2015, 17:51

none of the deaths include a cause, I'm not sure of the parish records are available, I wasn't looking at any specific person, but thought it was odd that the average number of deaths was tripled that year

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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby Anizio » 23 Sep 2015, 19:35

various illnesses do cause that, and they are more likely to be recorded in parish records as a common cause of death that year than in historical accounts since historical record requires someone to have actually written about it.

If there is a church in the town, and there is, there are parish records to access.
TIP: When asking for records from Italy, do NOT ask for an "estratto." ALWAYS ask for a "copia integrale." A photocopy of the original Act will contain more information

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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby DCPandaFan » 01 Oct 2015, 03:03

When there is such a spike in deaths it's usually because of contaminated water (typhoid) or an outbreak of other illness. Back then sanitation was primitive, and there were no antibiotics or even aspirin to relieve fever and pain. Epidemics would go through an entire town or a larger area. I found some morti allegati in my dad's town mentioning cause of death, but that was in a later period.
When will Italy get Pandas?

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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby carubia » 14 Dec 2015, 13:59

There were flu epidemics that swept through Sicily (and the rest of the world) in the 19th century and caused that amount of death. I found a book online a few years ago that listed some global flu pandemics in the 19th century, including one that originated in Sicily around 1833. Sure enough, the number of deaths for a town that I'm researching in Sicily doubled that year. I forgot what other years were mentioned.

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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby Barone88 » 14 Dec 2015, 15:07

I can't even imagine what that must have been like

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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby carubia » 15 Dec 2015, 02:54

It must've been horrific. You see whole families dying one at a time over the course of several weeks. An unusually large number of young adults died, too, so a lot of children became orphans. The population of Ribera was about 4000 and a typical year would have 200 deaths, yet there were 430 deaths in 1833 and 245 in 1832 (with the rate increasing toward the end of the year). Considering that even in an ordinary year some people would die from the flu, especially young children, it seems that more than 5% died of the town died in epidemic and maybe as much as 10%. The number of marriages spiked the next year as well, with all those people that were widowed remarrying.

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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby trecaromia » 18 Sep 2016, 06:05

It may have been a cholera epidemic. I know in 1837 the cholera epidemic took the lives of one-fourth of the population in the area of San Giuseppe Iato, San Cipirello, Sicily.
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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby TerraLavoro » 18 Sep 2016, 15:52

Also in 1837 in the comune where I am registered (Forio), the cholera epidemic was devastating. See link...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26377228

Cholera is mentioned as the cause of death in the civil records where applicable.
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Re: Epidemic? 1860 Altavilla Milicia

Postby trecaromia » 19 Sep 2016, 22:06

Grazie for sharing the article on cholera. My understanding is it was from contaminated water. So very sad for all the lives lost.
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