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Family Tree Research
by Historic Events

To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without
a source, a tree without a root. – Chinese Proverb.

Part of the journey is researching your family tree by historic events that have occurred since the beginning of time. Plattekill Historical Preservation Society
has making a compiled list of links below by each specific event to make it easier
in your family research. This is what your membership with
the Plattekill Historical Preservation Society helps with. Interested
in becoming a member of the historical society.
To learn how to trace your family tree -

Mayflower ~ Pilgrim ~ 1620 - 1621
Plymouth Rock Resources

salem witch trial.jpg

War Time Research ~ Resources

The Civil War

April 12, 1861 – April 9, 1865

Before You Begin
In order to research a Civil War ancestor, you'll first need to know three things:

1. The Soldier's Name 2. Whether he served for the Union or Confederate Army

3. The State from which the Solider Served. You may still be able to locate information on your Civil War ancestor whether you have all three points of information or not, but it will be more difficult to find it unless he had a uncommon name. If you don't know where your ancestor was living when he enlisted, then the 1860 U.S. Federal Census may at least be able to tell you where he was living just prior to the Civil War. 


Searching for Veterans of Other Wars

Our Military Ancestors
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) maintains military service records of discharged personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Information about the center is available on the NARA web site at or you can write to the center:


National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

Justianian Plague.jpg

Epidemics & Plagues  |  Research

By Shirley Virginia Anson, Historian
Genealogical Research often involves a detailed search for people who disappear from local records or migrate to p
arts unknown. It may be frustrating when trying to search an ancestor - if you have problems locating that family member. Stop for a moment and  just think ... your ancestor may not be able to be located because of a pandemic, epidemic and/or plague. Historical during ravaging pandemics - there was not time to document or have roper burials. Here is an historic timeline of the epidemics and pandemics that have occurred through history. NOTE: There have been three great world pandemics of plague recorded, in 541, 1347, and 1894 CE, each time causing devastating mortality of people and animals across nations and continents. On more than one occasion plague irrevocably changed the social and economic fabric of society.

3,000 BP. (YEARS) DISEASE - Hamin Mangha Plague. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Northeast China. Proof of a deadly epidemic ere find at the "Hamin Mangha" archaeological site in northeastern China, in which several houses were filled with skeletons. 

430 BP. (YEAR) DISEASE - Athens PlagueOCCURANCE LOCATION - Athens, Sparta

Took place at the start of a war between Athens and Sparta, lasted five years and resulted in 100,000 deaths. Researchers believe that the war overcrowded Athenian refugees that further exacerbated the epidemic.

165-180 CE. (YEARS) DISEASE - The Antonine Plague. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Roman Empire. Lasted more than 15 years when the Roman soldiers came home after the war. The Antonine plague ravaged the army and killed more than five million people in the Roman Empire. This epidemic likely contributed to the end of the Pax Romana (Roman peace), a period which ranged from 27 to 180 CE. Instability then increased throughout the Roman Empire that lead to civil wars, "barbarian" invasions, and the rise of Christianity. This was a plague that significantly changed the course of human history.

Epidemics & Plagues  |  Research

By Shirley Virginia Anson, Historian (continued)

540-544 (YEARS) DISEASE - Justinian PlagueOCCURANCE LOCATION - Roman Empire, Instanbul, Africa, Egypt, Alexandria, Gaza, Jerusalem and Antioch. The first great pandemic of bubonic plague where people were recorded as suffering from the characteristic buboes and septicaemia was the Justinian Plague of 541 CE, named after Justinian I, the Roman emperor of the Byzantine Empire at the time it was then carried on ships on the sea trading routes to both sides of the Mediterranean, arriving in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the autumn of 541.

1347 to 1353 (YEARS). DISEASE - The Black Plague. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Throughout Europe, Germany, Spain, Norway, England Russia and India. The Black Death of 1347 was
the first major European outbreak of the second great plague pande
mic that occurred over
the 14th to 18th centuries. In 1346 it was known in the European seaports that a plague epidemic was present in the East. In 1347 the plague was brought to the Crimea from
Asia Minor by the Tartar armies of Khan Janibeg, who had laid siege to the town of Kaffa
(now Feodosya in Ukraine), a Genoese trading town on the shores of the Black Sea. 
The overall mortality rate varied from city to city, but in places such as Florence as observed by Boccaccio up to half the population died, the Italians calling the epidemic the mortalega grande,
‘the great mortality’. [18] People died with such rapidity that proper burial or cremation could not occur, corpses were thrown into large pits and putrefying bodies lay in their homes and
in the streets. People were as much afraid they would suffer a spiritual death as they were
a physical death since there were no clergy to perform burial rites: “Shrift there was none; churches and chapels were open, but neither priest nor penitents entered – all went to the charnelhouse. The sexton and the physician were cast into the same deep and wide grave;
the testator and his heirs and executors were hurled from the same cart into the same hole together.”
 In 1374 when another epidemic of the Black Death re-emerged in Europe, Venice instituted various public health controls such as isolating victims from healthy people and preventing ships with disease from landing at port. In 1377 the republic of Ragusa on the Adriatic Sea (now Dubrovnik in Yugoslavia) established a ships’ landing station far from the
city and harbour in which travellers suspected to have the plague had to spend thirty days,
the trentena, to see whether they became ill and died or whether they remained healthy
and could leave. The trentena was found to be too short and in 1403 in Venice, travellers
from the Levant in the eastern Mediterranean were isolated in a hospital for forty days,
the quarantena or quaranta giorni, from which we derive the term quarantine.


Epidemics & Plagues  |  Research

By Shirley Virginia Anson, Historian (Continued)

1665 - 1666 (YEARS). DISEASE - The Great Plaque. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Europe, England, London. This portion of the article is shared from HISTORY OF THE PLAGUE. The epidemic was described by Samuel Pepys in his diaries in 1665 and by Daniel Defoe in 1722 in his "A Journal of a Plague Year". People were incarcerated in their homes, doors painted with a cross. The epidemic reached a peak in September 1665 when 7,000 people per week were dying in London alone. Between 1665 and 1666 a fifth of London’s population died, some 100,000 people. The Great Fire of London in 1666 and the subsequent rebuilding of timber and thatch houses with brick and tile disturbed the rats’ normal habitat and led to a reduction in their numbers, and may have been a contributing factor to the end of the epidemic. An old English nursery rhyme published in Kate Greenaway’s book Mother Goose 1881 reminds us of the symptoms of the plague:  ‘Ring, a-ring, o’rosies, (a red blistery rash) A pocket full of posies (fragrant herbs and flowers to ward off the ‘miasmas’) Atishoo, atishoo (the sneeze and the cough heralding pneumonia) We all fall down.’ (all dead) Plague waxed and waned in Europe until the late 18th century, but not with the virulence and mortality of the 14th century European Black Death. 

  • 1657 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1687 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1690 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - New York

  • 1713 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1729 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1732-33 (YEARS) - DISEASE - Influenza. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide

  • 1738 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Small Pox. OCCURANCE LOCATION - South Carolina

  • 1739-1740 (YEARS) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Boston, Massachusetts

  • 1747 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina

  • 1759 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - North America (Prominent in areas where white people lived)

  • 1761 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Influenza. OCCURANCE LOCATION - North America & West Indies

  • 1772 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - North America

  • 1775 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Unknown Epidemic. OCCURANCE LOCATION - North America (Especially Hard Hit in the North East Section of USA).

  • 1775-1776 (YEARS) - DISEASE - Influenza (one of the worst epidemics). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide

  • 1783 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Extremely fatal Bilious Disorder. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Dover, Delaware

  • 1788 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Philadelphia & New York

  • 1793 (YEAR) - DISEASE - A "Putrid" Fever & Influenza. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Vermont

  • 1793 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Influenza  - killed 500 in 5 counties within 4 weeks. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Virginia

  • 1793 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever - over 4,000 deaths. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Philadelphia

  • 1793 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Many Unexplained Deaths. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

  • 1793 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Many Unexplained Deaths. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Middletown, Pennsylvania

  • 1794 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • 1796-1797 (YEARS) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • 1798 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever (One of the Worst Years). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Epidemics & Plagues  |  Research

By Shirley Virginia Anson, Historian (continued)

  • 1803 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - New York

  • 1817 - 1924 (YEARS) - DISEASE - The First Cholera Pandemic. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1820-1823 (YEARS) - DISEASE - Fever - Started at Schuylkill River and Spread. OCCURANCE LOCATION -Nationwide

  • 1822 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - New York & New Orleans

  • 1827 - 1835 (YEARS) DISEASE - Second Cholera Pandemic. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1831-1832 (YEARS) - DISEASE - Asiatic Cholera - brought by English Emigrants. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide

  • 1832 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Cholera. OCCURANCE LOCATION - New York City and Other Major Cities

  • 1832 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Asiatic Cholera. Over 1,000 deaths.
    ON - New Orleans

  • 1832 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Cholera. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Ayrshire Towns of Stevenson, Dalry and Kilbride

  • 1833 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Cholera. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Columbus, Ohio

  • 1834 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Cholera. OCCURANCE LOCATION - New York City

  • 1837 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Typhus. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • 1839 - 1856 (YEARS) DISEASE - Third Cholera Pandemic. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1841 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever. Especially Severe in the South. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide

  • 1847 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - New Orleans

  • 1847-1848 (YEARS) - DISEASE - Influenza. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide

  • 1848-1849 (YEARS) - DISEASE - Cholera. OCCURANCE LOCATION - North America

  • 1849 (YEAR) - DISEASE - Cholera. OCCURANCE LOCATION - New York

  • 1849 - 1850 (YEARS) DISEASE - Cholera - 3,000+ DeathsOCCURANCE LOCATION - New Orleans

  • 1850 (YEAR) DISEASE - Yellow FeverOCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide

  • 1850 (YEAR) DISEASE - CholeraOCCURANCE LOCATION - Alabama, New York

  • 1850 - 1851 (YEARS) DISEASE - InfluenzaOCCURANCE LOCATION - North America


Epidemics & Plagues  |  Research

By Shirley Virginia Anson, Historian (Continued)

  • 1851 (YEAR) DISEASE - CholeraOCCURANCE LOCATION - Coles, Colorado, Illinois, The Great Plains and Missouri.

  • 1852 (YEAR) DISEASE - Yellow FeverOCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide

  • 1853 (YEAR) DISEASE - Yellow Fever - 8,000+ DeathsOCCURANCE LOCATION - New Orleans

  • 1855 (YEAR) DISEASE - Yellow FeverOCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide

  • 1857 - 1859 (YEARS) DISEASE - Influenza - One of the Greatest EpidemicsOCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1860 - 1861 (YEARS) DISEASE - Small PoxOCCURANCE LOCATION - Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, New York.

  • 1863 - 1875 (YEARS) DISEASE - Fourth Cholera Pandemic. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1865 (YEAR) DISEASE - Small Pox, a Series of Recurring Epidemics of Cholera, Typhus, Typhoid, Scarlet Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Boston, New Orleans 

  • 1865 - 1873 (YEARS) DISEASE - Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Baltimore, Memphis, Washington DC. 

  • 1873 - 1875 (YEARS) DISEASE - Influenza. OCCURANCE LOCATION - North America & Europe

  • 1878 (YEAR) DISEASE - Yellow Fever - The Last Great Epidemic of Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - New Orleans 

  • 1878 (YEAR) DISEASE - Yellow Fever - The Last Great Epidemic of Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Memphis, Tennessee.

  • 1881 - 1886 (YEARS) DISEASE - Fifth Cholera Pandemic. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1885 (YEAR) DISEASE - Water Borne Disease. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Chicago, Illinois.

  • 1885 (YEAR) DISEASE - Typhoid. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Plymouth, Pennsylvania.

  • 1885 and PRIOR (YEAR) DISEASE - Rabies. Many people died - in 1885, Dr. Louis Pasteur discovered the vaccine OCCURANCE LOCATION -Worldwide.

  • 1886 (YEAR) DISEASE - Yellow Fever. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Jacksonville, Florida.

  • 1889 - 1893 (YEARS) DISEASE - Russian Flu / Avian Flu. OCCURANCE LOCATION -Worldwide.

  • 1894 - 1925 - Resurfaced and ONGOING  (YEARS). DISEASE - The Third Pandemic.  OCCURANCE LOCATION - China, Canton, Hong Kong, Bombay, Australia.  John Ashburton- Thompson, the chief medical officer, recorded the epidemic and confirmed that rats were the source and their fleas were the vectors in the epidemic. There were 12 major outbreaks of plague in Australia from 1900 to 1925 with 1371 cases and 535 deaths, most cases occurring in Sydney. HAs now go worldwide - - generated from fleas and wild rodents.

  • 1899 - 1923 (YEAR) DISEASE - Sixth Cholera Pandemic. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1900 (YEAR) DISEASE - Cholera. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Galveston, Texas.

  • 1902 (YEAR) DISEASE - Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Alaska.

  • 1905 (YEAR) DISEASE - Yellow Fever - the Last USA Outbreak. High Point Year - Influenza: More People were Hospitalized in WWI from this Epidemic than Wounds. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide. 

Epidemics & Plagues  |  Research

By Shirley Virginia Anson, Historian (continued)

  • 1916 - 1948 (YEAR) DISEASE - Whooping Cough. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide.

  • 1916 (YEAR) DISEASE - Polio (Infantile Paralysis). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide.

  • 1918 - 1932 (YEARS) DISEASE - Spanish Influenza (Spanish Flu). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide.

  • 1918 (YEAR) DISEASE - US Army Training Camps became Death Camps with 80% Death Rate in Some Camps. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1948 - 1955 (YEARS) DISEASE - Polio. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1949 (YEAR) DISEASE - Polio (Infantile Paralysis). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide.

  • 1952 - 2016 (YEAR) DISEASE - Zika Virus (from Mosquitoes). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide

  • 1955 - 1970 (YEARS) DISEASE - Hong Kong Flu (H3N2 Strain). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Vietnam War, Worldwide.

  • 1957 (YEAR) DISEASE - Asian Flu. OCCURANCE LOCATION - China, United States, England, Scotland. 

  • 1961 - ONGOING (YEARS) - DISEASE - The Seven Cholera Pandemic. Occurs from Contaminated Water. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 1961 - 1969 (YEARS) DISEASE - New Outbreak of Measles. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide.

  • 1969 - 1971 (YEARS) DISEASE - Rubella Syndrome. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide.

  • 1967 - 1973 (YEARS) DISEASE - Mumps. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Nationwide.

  • 1981 - 2005 (YEARS) DISEASE - HIV / Aids. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide.

  • 2002 - 2003 (YEARS) DISEASE - SARS - CoV - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - (Coronaviridae family). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide. This epidemic started in Guangdong province in China and extended to 29 countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Its intermediate hosts were bats, palm civets, and raccoon dogs. 

  • 2009 - 2011 (YEARS) DISEASE - Swine Flu (H1N1 Virus). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Mexico, Worldwide. The number of people died was around 150,000 to 250,000. It was called “panicdemic” due to the alarm created by international health agencies, disproportionate to the effect of the pandemic

  • 2013 - 2015 (YEARS) DISEASE - EBOLA (EVID). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Guinea. It affected 28,000 and killed 11,000 individuals. Many healthcare workers who volunteered to care for EVD patients also succumbed to this disease. The cause of death usually was hypovolemic/hemorrhagic shock.

  • 2015 - ONGOING (YEARS) DISEASE - MERS (CoV). OCCURANCE LOCATION - Saudi Arabia, Middle East, Worldwide.

  • 2019 - ONGOING (YEARS) DISEASE - COVID19 Pandemic. OCCURANCE LOCATION - Worldwide. (SARS-COV2), symptoms of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) include fever, fatigue, productive cough, breathlessness, headache, anosmia, dysgeusia, and sore throat. Severe cases presented with complications such as ARDS, respiratory failure, cardiac failure, and septic shock. The first case was reported to WHO from Wuhan on December 31, 2019, and it was declared as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The virus is thought to have originated from Wuhan province, China. Initially reported cases are considered to be from zoonotic source Huanan seafood market selling snakes, bats, and other wild animals. Although the impact of different types of medications or conditions on the disease process is unknown. Globally, as of July 2021, there have been 190 million confirmed cases
    of COVID-19, including: 4 million deaths, reported to WHO. As of July 2021, a total
    of 860 million people are administered with COVID-19 vaccine.


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