#52Ancestors Week 44 ‘Scary Stuff’

Welcome to Week 44 of my Genealogy challenge, from the wonderful Amy Johnson Crow, of writing something about your Ancestors for a whole year, #52Ancestors in 52 weeks. This week’s prompt is ‘Scary Stuff’.

This year has been like no other in my lifetime, with the unprecedented scenes that we have all witnessed around the world. Back in March I never ever would have envisaged that we would still be here in October and still on curfews and mini lockdowns, it’s been a strange and surreal existence.

Certainly worthy of the title ‘Scary Stuff’.

This got me thinking to what it must have been like for our Ancestors, say 150 years ago, with disease and poverty rife amongst the working classes and diseases such as Typhus, Smallpox, Diptheria and Cholera spreading like wildfire. 

We are so fortunate today, that we live in a time where vaccines and inoculation’s have all but eradicated these diseases in the Western World and we also live in a World where communication is instant and immediate, rewind 150 years ago, how well were the signs and symptoms of Disease communicated? We also knew very little then, about the prevention of these infectious diseases and how to prevent the spread. How well did we communicate local outbreaks of Diseases in our area?

We can all be highly critical of how the Global Pandemic has been allowed to spread and how our attempts to control the virus have been somewhat lacking, but that all pales into insignificance when you step back in time and consider how our Ancestors suffered, both physically and mentally, during the rapid outbreaks of the various Killer Diseases.

Be grateful and thankful that we live in the times that we do, albeit we are without doubt experiencing some real ‘Scary Things’ right now.

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6 thoughts on “#52Ancestors Week 44 ‘Scary Stuff’

  1. Unfortunately nothing seems to spread as fast as misinformation. One of my ancestors owned and ran a school in the 1820s, where all these young men were stricken with a disease and died. I have been trying to work out what the disease was. I contemplated that it might be smallpox, Edward Jenner had already been vaccinating I believe. I had read early newspaper accounts. It was a terrible time for my GGGGrandfather who also died, as it was said of grief. The family was forced to sell everything to survive and my GG Grandmother had gone into service. They had fought to keep the school afloat for a while but to no avail. I have a newspaper inventory of all their possessions up for sale, including the Axminster carpet and pianoforte.

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  2. You have inspired me to tell their story. It is very tragic. My GGGG grandfather had managed to fall off a hayrick and had lain injured for a week before he had been discovered dead a few years previously. Then the school of his son my GGG Grandfather had been had been stricken with disease a few years later. I have actually been able to visit the graves of my GGGG grandfather and the rest of the family, last time I was in the UK.

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