The Ancestry.com Blog, The Weekly Discovery, recently had a short but interesting article about observing multiple deaths in a single family during your research. In part, here is what the post says:
"When family historians run across records that show family members dying in rapid succession, one of the first things to consider is a contagious disease, and possibly an epidemic. Check local histories to learn about epidemics in the area in which your ancestor lived.When you’re dealing with contagious diseases, it’s not uncommon to see families decimated."
You can read the entire article at: http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=7238102095186883080