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Historical Tidbit
Taken from Michael Upchurch 1624-1681

Life Span of a Colonist
by Mae Davenport Cox

Fevers, poisonous snakes and wild animals took a toll

on the Colonists killing many in their prime.

There were few medical resources in the 1600s and 1700s causing many Colonistís life span to be of short duration. Medicines often were nothing more than remedies handed down from one generation to the next and did little to thwart the fevers, poisonous snakes, and wild animals abundant in the area.

Hence many young fathers while toiling in the fields fell dead of snake bites, or were preyed upon by wild animals. Young mothers died in childbirth, or developed one of the diseases or fevers prevalent in their area.

Young mothers or fathers would suddenly become widowed with several small children to raise, fields to work, and livestock to tend. It was next to impossible to run a farm of any size with just one adult ó to survive in this wilderness took two sets of working hands. Many times the single parent quickly married again to solve their dilemma.

There are indications that it wasnít unusual for someone to have three or four husbands or wives. And most of the couples had numerous children. Big families were prevalent in this day and age.



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