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52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy History

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I have been busy writing a story about my 5th great grandfather Joseph Cheuvront and his family. To add some depth I wanted to get an idea to what life was like in Virginia during the 1775 period to the early 1800's. I found a wonderful article on the Virginia Colony.  By the time my ancestors came to Virginia it was one of the first thirteen states but I am sure life had not changed much in the way life was lived. 
The following was copied from the site. I will incorporate the following into my story of Joseph and his family to add substance. Click on the link at the bottom to find more information if interested.

While life was difficult for everybody living in the Virginia Colony, this was especially true for women, who married young (16 was a popular age for marriage) and had an average of eight children. Childbirth was one of the main causes of death for women as well, as there were no drugs to stop bleeding and most births were attended by midwives or even family members rather than doctors. Once married, women usually spent their lives caring for their families and preparing or storing food for the winter.

Medical care in the Virginia Colony was a real problem. There were very few doctors there at the time and not only was the care expensive, but it was also mostly inadequate. Folk medicine was widespread at the time, and most doctors use leeches to treat a variety of problems, from cancer to common infections (antibiotics were not known at the time). As time went by, many doctors incorporated the use of certain indigenous herbs, like snakeroot, to treat conditions they had no other medication for. Calomel, a drug based on mercury, was popular, although it caused lots of poisonings and killed more patients than it actually helped. There was no anesthesia available and surgery was actually prohibited by the church, so doctors avoided it, even in cases of life and death. Diphtheria, malarial fever, yellow fever and tuberculosis were all common diseases in Colonial Virginia.

The road system in the Virginia Colony and its surroundings was poorly developed. When travel was necessary, people would use a horse or take off on foot, but this was mainly avoided in winter because the conditions were too difficult and too risky for most colonists to attempt. Most people traveled by boat if the distances were long or time was an issue.

The social life of those living in the colony included folk music and reading as the main forms of entertainment. Cider and whiskey were considered common drinks and served along with everyday foods, including family dinners, afternoon teas and BBQs organized by the town, church or close friends. People often socialized in groups or as a family, rather than separately.

Basically everything used in daily life was manufactured at home. This included candles, clothing, all metal and wood artifacts for the home and farms and even school supplies. Silver and iron were used for practically everything, from shoeing horses to making dinner dishes

Read more: What Was Life Like in the Virginia Colony? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_4588658_was-life-like-virginia-colony.html#ixzz1lo28N9OC

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