• Do you love Genealogy? Why not write for us? we're looking for volunteers to write articles for Family history. Please contact us for further information.

childhood deaths in the 1800s

benny1982

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
5,292
Likes
121
Location
Norwich
#2
Hi Gwen

Many children died due to "Failure to thrive" such as failure to grow, digest food properly etc. Cot death was probably another cause, severe colic or gastro illnesses, convulsions, diarrhoea, atrophy, pneumonia and several others, even TB caused a lot of infant deaths.

Infant mortality was high in the 1800s due to poor medicine, poor housing and sanitation. I think that if you live in the countryside then the survival rate is a bit higher but in towns and cities, many children died before their first birthday.

Ben
 

gwenythgreen

Valued Member
Posts
873
Likes
5
Location
wrexham
#4
Hi Ben.

Thank you for that,:) Karen, my daugher, is keen to learn what would have been the main causes of death for peole before modern medicine, i.e for children also young mothers and older people, she has always been fascinated with old graves and why people died.

She hopes to train as a nurse when her little girl is older. so her research in this will be very useful if you can help, THANK YOU.

Gwen :)
 

p.risboy

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
18,078
Likes
427
Location
In Ireland, but born Bucks.
#5
Hi all,
And don't forget the poor little blighters down the mines, up the chimneys, in the mills, who died doing work.
Work related diseases took a lot of lives later in life. As it still does today.

Steve.:)
 

gwenythgreen

Valued Member
Posts
873
Likes
5
Location
wrexham
#7
Found this:-

http://ourwardfamily.com/children_of_the_1800's.htm

Steve.:'(
Hi Steve and all,

Thank you so very much for the link,

As you all know when yo walk around any cemetry you often come accross graves of children and young adults which each have a sad tale behind them, my daughter is curious to know these tales, I think they can make us realy appreciate how lucky we all are, many of us would not be here if it were not for the fantastic advances in medicine nutrition and hygiene of the last 50 odd years, does anyone know of the dates of the main eppidemics that caused the deaths of so many in the U.K.

Gwen :)
 

p.risboy

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
18,078
Likes
427
Location
In Ireland, but born Bucks.
#8
Hi Steve and all,

Thank you so very much for the link,

As you all know when yo walk around any cemetry you often come accross graves of children and young adults which each have a sad tale behind them, my daughter is curious to know these tales, I think they can make us realy appreciate how lucky we all are, many of us would not be here if it were not for the fantastic advances in medicine nutrition and hygiene of the last 50 odd years, does anyone know of the dates of the main eppidemics that caused the deaths of so many in the U.K.

Gwen :)
Hi Gwen,
Mortality rates increased(in modern times), as the towns and cities began to fill up with the influx of labour from rural communities, due to the industrial revolution.
Cholera and scarlett fever were killers, as clean and healthy living accomodation became in short supply. Then the availability of decent food became a problem for similar reasons, as well as places to cook it.
Living in filth and squaller, due to overcrowding, quite literally became a breading ground for just about everything imaginable.
A common cold could eventually become a killer as it turned to pneumonia, bronchitis etc.
So I don't think there was one big epidemic during this period, just loads of localised ones, due to the conditions.
Recent times, in 1952, there was the London 'smog', which killed around 4000 people in a week, mostly the young and old. The most vunerable.

Steve.:) :)
 

gwenythgreen

Valued Member
Posts
873
Likes
5
Location
wrexham
#9
Hi Gwen,
Mortality rates increased(in modern times), as the towns and cities began to fill up with the influx of labour from rural communities, due to the industrial revolution.
Cholera and scarlett fever were killers, as clean and healthy living accomodation became in short supply. Then the availability of decent food became a problem for similar reasons, as well as places to cook it.
Living in filth and squaller, due to overcrowding, quite literally became a breading ground for just about everything imaginable.
A common cold could eventually become a killer as it turned to pneumonia, bronchitis etc.
So I don't think there was one big epidemic during this period, just loads of localised ones, due to the conditions.
Recent times, in 1952, there was the London 'smog', which killed around 4000 people in a week, mostly the young and old. The most vunerable.

Steve.:) :)
Hi Steve

I seem to remember my late mother-in-law talking about diptheria and scarlet fever epidemics in the 20th centuary, does anyone have any knowledge about these type of epidemics as in some churchyards I have noticed that many people have died at a similar point in time, as in the plague in London, were the plagues of illnesses of cholera etc.

Gwen. :)
 

p.risboy

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
18,078
Likes
427
Location
In Ireland, but born Bucks.
#10
Hi Steve

I seem to remember my late mother-in-law talking about diptheria and scarlet fever epidemics in the 20th centuary, does anyone have any knowledge about these type of epidemics as in some churchyards I have noticed that many people have died at a similar point in time, as in the plague in London, were the plagues of illnesses of cholera etc.

Gwen. :)
Hi Gwen,
If you 'google' these diseases you will find out more.

Steve.:)
 

Littlemo

Well-known member
Posts
168
Likes
0
Location
Lancashire
#11
Hi Gwen,
My Gran used to say that Hard Work never killed anyone, but I found out from the 1861 Census that my GGrandad was working in a Cotton Mill as a Weaver at 10 years old! My Grandson Jack is 10 yrs. old tommorrow and it seems inconceivable that Children of his age were out working full time, in appalling conditions at his age:(
The reason I quoted my Gran was that Michael was Dead at the age of 39yrs.
In 1947 (Age 2) I had Scarlet Fever, wiich my mum said almost killed me but which still leftme with a Chronic Lung Condition called Bronchiectasis so just imagine how many Children would have died from either illness before Antibiotics etc.
And just imagine how quickly contagious diseases would have spred with so many People living in small cramped terraced houses with no Sanitation or Heating, I"m just amazed by the fact that so many of them managed to survive into adulthood:eek:
Luv Littlemo
 

gwenythgreen

Valued Member
Posts
873
Likes
5
Location
wrexham
#12
Hi Gwen,
My Gran used to say that Hard Work never killed anyone, but I found out from the 1861 Census that my GGrandad was working in a Cotton Mill as a Weaver at 10 years old! My Grandson Jack is 10 yrs. old tommorrow and it seems inconceivable that Children of his age were out working full time, in appalling conditions at his age:(
The reason I quoted my Gran was that Michael was Dead at the age of 39yrs.
In 1947 (Age 2) I had Scarlet Fever, wiich my mum said almost killed me but which still leftme with a Chronic Lung Condition called Bronchiectasis so just imagine how many Children would have died from either illness before Antibiotics etc.
And just imagine how quickly contagious diseases would have spred with so many People living in small cramped terraced houses with no Sanitation or Heating, I"m just amazed by the fact that so many of them managed to survive into adulthood:eek:
Luv Littlemo
Hi Littlemo and all m other friends.

Thank you so much for this, my daughter will certainly have lots to read when she visits next week.

I think we all find it difficult to emagine how hard and cruel the conditions for our ancesters were as children. there were no laws to protect them from exploitation by their employers and even parents, I have herd tales of children as young as 6 years old working in the carpet mills crawling under the giant carpet looms to gather the waste yarn, many being killed in horrific accidents, and as you say if they survived this they suffered horrific symptoms from breathing in the fibres that floated in the air, and then you had children in the mines and of course the chimney sweeps, usefull because of their small size and kept by their masters in terrible conditions.

We should all think our selves so lucky that we live with our families in the 21st Centuary

Thank you

Gwen :)
 

JMR

Valued Member
Posts
488
Likes
0
Location
Melbourne
#13
Flu epidemics killed many people, sometimes whole families as well. Lack of antibiotics meant even the most insignificant illness today, caused secondary infections that couldn't be treated effectively.

I have a picture of a beautiful little girl in my family who died in 1912, aged 10 of meningitis sepsis caused by a decayed tooth. So sad!

Jill
 

gwenythgreen

Valued Member
Posts
873
Likes
5
Location
wrexham
#14
Hi all

Following on from my daughters query yesterday, could you please tell her what would have happened to disabled or handicaped children, were they as I think put in asylums, workhouses or meet with 'unfortunate accidents'. I am sure that Downs Syndrome, Spina bifida, and autisim were not exclusive to the 20th and 21st Centuary?

I think that when she looks at her own beautifull healthy daughter of 2 1/2 she realizes how lucky she is to live in todays modern world.

Gwen. :)
 

benny1982

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
5,292
Likes
121
Location
Norwich
#15
Back in those days, doctors had not a brilliant medical knowledge like we do today. No scanning machines, xrays or body scanners, and some babies may have died of glaucma or cancer which could have been mistaken for TB, atrophy or even bronchitis.
 

Similar threads

Top