Updated 15 Nov 2000

Measles Epidemic
1848 -1849

From the end of 1848 to around the middle of 1849, the town of Sehlen, Kreis Tuchel, Westpreußen, was plagued with a severe epidemic of measles. Beginning December 16, 1848 and ending May 15, 1849, eleven children from seven Mathia families died from measles. The youngest was two months old, the oldest thirteen years. The family of Lorenz and Elizabeth Mathia lost three children between December 18, 1848 and January 7, 1849. Two other families lost two children.

We highlight this information for two reasons:

First, we should appreciate that our forebears maintained their faith and their character in the face of great adversity and uncertainty.

Second, we should appreciate the value of the immunizations presently available for our children and assure that each have been adequately protected.

The Children

Family of Jacob MATHIA and Eva KROLL

ALBRECHT, on 16 Dec 1848, age 3
Cause of death: Measles.

ANNA, on 15 May 1849, age 9 years, 6 months.
Cause of death: Measles.

Family of Lorenz MATHIA and Elizabeth PIK

JOSEPH, on 18 Dec 1848, age 8
Cause of death: Measles.

MARIA, on 21 Dec 1848, age 6
Cause of death: Measles.

PETER, on 7 Jan 1849, age 12 years
Cause of death: Measles.

Family of Thomas MATHIA and Marianna JANIKOWSKA

LORENZ, on 21 Dec 1848, age 7
Cause of death: Measles.

JOSEPH, on 25 Dec 1848, age 2
Cause of death: Measles.

Family of Franz JESCHKE and Anna MATHIA

ANDREAS, on 9 Jan 1849, age 2 months, 7 days
Cause of death: Measles.

Family of Joseph MATHIA and Marianna KROLL

EVA, on 28 Jan 1849, age 1 year, 1 month
Cause of death: Measles.

Family of Joannes WEINEROWICZ and Elizabeth MATHIA

JOSEPH, on 5 Feb 1849, age 13
Cause of death: Measles.

Family of Lorenz MATHIA and Elizabeth KOHLS

MARIANNA, on 23 Mar 1849, age 2 years, 2 months
Cause of death: Measles.