Researching the Effect of the 1918 Spanish Flu on Your Family History

Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
United States

Join genealogist Jane Neff Rollins to recap the events of the 1918 epidemic, how it affected your ancestors & what lessons we can use today!

Does the thought of getting COVID scare you? Maybe not – but it should. Yes, today we have vaccines (sort of), antiviral medications, and chicken soup. But imagine what it was like in 1918, when the “Spanish” influenza exploded into a worldwide outbreak (pandemic) that may have killed as many as 100 million people. In Philadelphia, one of the early hotspots, you couldn’t get a doctor to make a house call because the dial telephone didn’t exist yet, and all calls had to be connected by an operator—so many of whom were sick from the flu that telephone exchanges were closed. There weren’t enough coffins or gravediggers, and corpses piled up in the streets in Philadelphia and other cities until mass graves could be dug with bulldozers. This talk will:

  • Recap how this novel type of flu spread worldwide
  • Cover how to research what happened to your family during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic
  • Discuss what lessons from that pandemic can be applied today as we deal with COVID-19
Event Type: 
Public Health
Global Region: 
American (United States)