- In 1825 violent storms ravaged the north sea coastal communities of the Netherlands. As the flood waters spilled across the lowlands many lives were lost including the family of DaniŽl Langenberg (refer DaniŽl Langenberg 1776 - 1825, Person ID: l1438). This was referred to as the great flood 'Watersnood' of 1825. Vast tracts of the lowlands particularly in the provinces of Friesland and Zeeland lay inundated with water for many years after. The following year, 1826, produced an unusually hot summer, prime conditions for mosquitos. The outcome of this was a grave malaria epidemic breaking out in numerous Dutch coastal areas of the Netherlands. The victim of this mosquito borne illness is struck with recurrent cycles of shaking chills, fever and sweats and if left untreated the patient literally becomes exhausted to death with the recurring episodes. Many died from complications such as pleurisy and pneumonia. In 1826 the city of Groningen in the east of the Netherlands recorded some 8,000 diseased persons of which 3,000 died out of a population of approximately 30,000; Amsterdam had about 2,400 deaths from malaria. Friesland and Zeeland, which were considered the most malarious regions in Europe and had been for centuries, also recorded numerous deaths although the exact numbers are not readily available.
A 1905 Newspaper article, Niewsblad van Friesland: Hepkema's courant, lists some of those individuals that succumbed to this illness, the cause of which was unknown at the time. The list includes two Laagland family members living in Snikzwaag: Klaas Hettes Laagland who died 6th August 1826 aged 72 years, farmer 'boer' and his son Hette Klazes Laagland who died on the 23rd December 1826 aged 36 years, farmer 'boer'.
Also listed, for the Oudehaske region are Roelof Koops Knobbe, aged 68 years, died 10 August 1826, peat boss 'veenbass', and his wife Margen Harmens Toering, aged 62 years, died 15 August 1826. Roelof and Margen are the great grandparents of Margen Alberts Snoeyer, wife of Harmen Jacobs Langenberg (1799-1873, Person ID: I0068).
Outbreaks of malaria still occurred in Friesland in the 1900's. As children the brothers Herman (Person ID: I0067) and Martin Langenberg (Person ID: I0068) both suffered from malaria in the 1940s while living in Bolsward, Friesland, both recovered.
Source 1: Encylopedia of Plague and Pestilence: From Ancient Times to Present, George C. Kohn, 2008, pages 118-121
Source 2: Nieuwsblad van Friesland : Hepkema's courant 15 Mar 1905, page 3