Often I’ll come across an entire family wiped out within weeks of one another. This makes me immediately question – disease? What was going on in the area at the time? Although this site is more generalized than I would like, it’s a start:  Wikipedia on Epidemics.  It’s amazing how many diseases families had to contend with.

Typically, you can also find out what’s going on in newspapers of the era or in church records. Also, local “Genweb” sites for each locality often list causes of death, much like this for Clinton County, Illinois: St Boniface records

Sadly, I cannot always find causes of death for my ancestors. But death certificates are awesome resources and can usually be ordered through the state. More on that later.


Mucho Fishies,

Bratty Kitty