Typhoid Fever

The ArkivDigital death records can be searched not only for a specific name or date, or range of dates, but by (recorded) cause of death.

One cousin in the village I’m researching married in December 1826 when she was 27 years old. They established a separate household, then in November 1830, just short of 4 years of marriage, with no children, he died of typhoid fever (nervfeber). She moved back with her parents until 1832, when she moved to another parish and remarried a widower with one child. I can’t find any records that they had more children.

I noticed that two of her siblings had also died in 1830-1831, between November and January. Looking up their death records, they also died of typhoid. Searching death records for everyone whose death record includes typhoid, I find that between April 1829 and April 1831, eleven residents of that parish died of typhoid, though no one else in that village. There are some deaths in several other short time periods in the record, so this seems to have been a periodic problem in that time period. The last outbreak was 1888-1891, with one outlier in 1894.

Typhoid fever is often spread from infected person to infected person where there is poor sanitation or drinking water, so improved sanitation at the turn of the century likely ended the occurrences.