Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Thursday, June 11, 2015


A recent blog post at RootsBid by Amie Bowser Tennant got me thinking about the number of ancestors I have found who died during epidemics in the 19th and 20th centuries.  There were so many diseases that were fatal to not only individuals, but entire families, things we don't even have to think about today.

My third-great grandmother, Martha Burch Heard Tucker, the daughter of Revolutionary War hero and early Georgia governor, died along with four of her children in a scarlet fever epidemic that swept the Savannah River Valley in the 1823-24.  Martha and George, John, Richard and Biddie Tucker are all buried side-by-side at the former Heard family estate in Elbert, Georgia.  Her widower was left with five more children to raise alone until his remarriage.

My great-grandmother, Sarah Anna Sanders Rose, living in Nashville, died in 1919 during the great influenza pandemic.  She was age 60.   Two of my husband's great-uncles, Arch and Ira Sartin, died in the same epidemic in Jackson, Alabama.

Anna Rose (center) 1911

Eleanor McCullough Heaslet and two of her children, Anderson and Harried, died of typhoid fever in Alabama in 1833.  They had recently moved to the Talladega, Alabama area, then newly settled and there were no cemeteries established there yet, so Eleanor and her children were buried in Shelby County, with stones marking their burial place.  When Eleanor's husband Benjamin died, the Coosa River was so swollen from rains that his body was not able to be transported across it for burial with his wife and children.  He is buried on what was the family farm in Talladega.

Nora Ellis Gardner, a 32-year-old wife and mother of two living in Galveston, died days after giving birth, along with her newborn baby boy, in December 1918, of influenza.

I'm sure some more digging would reveal more of our ancestors who succumbed to these diseases. 

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