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 Bubonic plague in Norway
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kpeterson
Junior member

Italy
62 Posts

Posted - 14/09/2010 :  17:18:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In my research, I have found that several people in one family died in 1558 in Gjerpen, Telemark (parents and at least one set of grandparents, if not both -- still trying to find information on them).

Considering the fact that there were a lot of diseases that could wipe out groups of people within short periods of time, I am wondering if there is a record of some epidemic like bubonic/pneumonic plague or smallpox in the area of Gjerpen sometime in 1558 that has been documented? The plague was still being reported in Norway in the 17th century.

Thank you!

Hopkins
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
2826 Posts

Posted - 14/09/2010 :  18:58:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Perhaps a subject that could be researched in the published history of the Gjerpen area.

"Gjerpen bygds historie", 3 volumes by Terje Christensen

http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~norway/bygdebok.html
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Kċarto
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4812 Posts

Posted - 14/09/2010 :  20:01:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi.
After the big plague 1349-50 "Svartedauen " The Black Death, where 50% of the population in Norway died smaller outbreaks og plague appeared appproximately every 10 year in a 300 years period.

In addition there were 18 major plagues in Norway between 1350-1500, diseases as Smallpox, Bubonic plague and Dysentery were often wrongly called plague.
The 1558 plague in Gjerpen was most likekly one of these.

Kċre
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kpeterson
Junior member

Italy
62 Posts

Posted - 14/09/2010 :  22:09:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, both of you, for not only the link for the book, but also because of the information about the amounts of notable "plagues" that hit Norway.

I looked up the book and found it with an antiquarian book dealer for USD 40 which is not too unreasonable (if I cannot find it online or better yet, translated). If anyone has any recommendations about other readings about medieval Norway and particularly Telemark and Hordaland (I am very interested in medieval history), I would welcome the suggestions. I am very interested in the "why and wherefore" of history, not just gathering dates and names, and I actively look for supporting information.

An overall drop of 50% population in the country, with southern Norway being hit the worst with 60% mortality is horrifying. I wish I could remember where I had read it, but a first hand account stated that, after the person had buried every single person that he knew, he had felt as if he was the last person on earth -- no sound but the wind -- and thought he would go mad.
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Kċarto
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4812 Posts

Posted - 16/09/2010 :  22:49:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,
could it be a book written by Norwegian Ole Jĝrgen Benedictow?;
Plague in the Late Medieval Nordic Countries, published in Oslo 1992 by "Middelalderforlaget", 43 US Dollar, see lower part of the page here

Norwegians have learned about a girl called Jostedalsrypa "The Grouse from Jostedalen" she was the only who survived the Black plague in Jostedalen, a valley in Sogn & Fjordane county, Western Norway.
It´s a facinating story, 2 movies are made about here.

Kċre

Edited by - Kċarto on 16/09/2010 23:37:46
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kpeterson
Junior member

Italy
62 Posts

Posted - 17/09/2010 :  11:05:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the links, Kċre. I am trying to get access to the bubonic plague book through JSTOR which has published the entire document online. I had not previously heard of Jostedalsrypa, and the whole idea of children surviving alone after the bubonic plague is very interesting!
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