Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - ON THE RECORD -

A stu­dent is search­ing for the de­scen­dants of peo­ple who died dur­ing a late-Vic­to­rian epi­demic.

Sarah Rogers, who is work­ing to­wards an MLitt de­gree in Fam­ily and Lo­cal His­tory, is writ­ing her dis­ser­ta­tion on the Maid­stone Typhoid Epi­demic, which hit the Kent town in 1897. Last­ing five months, more than 1,800 res­i­dents caught typhoid fever from drink­ing in­fected wa­ter – 132 of whom later died.

Al­though hop-pick­ers camp­ing near the source were ini­tially blamed, a pub­lic in­quiry found that the con­tam­i­na­tion was caused by de­fec­tive drainage and sew­er­age. Maid­stone Bor­ough Coun­cil was also held re­spon­si­ble, as it had re­cently re­duced the fre­quency of wa­ter test­ing at lo­cal springs in a bid to save money.

If you have a fam­ily mem­ber that was af­fected, you can con­tact Sarah via her web­site at maid­stone­ty­phoide­pidemic.wee­

Do you have any Maid­stone an­ces­tors who were af­fected in the epi­demic?

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