CAN YOU HELP?
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.weebly.com.
Do you have any Maidstone ancestors who were affected in the epidemic?