Column: Our Ancestors’ Consumption

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: Column: Our Ancestors’ Consumption

Snippet: Diseases have taken their toll on humans. Between 1347 and 1351, an estimated 50 million people died in Europe and Asia from the plague. They called it the Black Death. The plague reappeared several times afterwards with devastating effects, including an outbreak dubbed the Great Plague of London (1665-66) that killed one in five people.

The Plague of Justinian was the first documented pandemic. It began in 541 AD and swept through Asia, North Africa, Arabia and Europe, lasting two hundred years. At its peak, it killed about 5,000 people a day. It’s difficult to get accurate numbers, but estimates say between 25 and 100 million people died. Researchers suggest this ravaging plague was the trigger for the Dark Ages in Europe.

Many feared the plague and the Spanish Influenza (1918-1920) that killed between 50 and 100 million people, but there was something more lethal in our history, something that still kills thousands of individuals each year. More than likely, you had more than one ancestor who died from it.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.


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