In Flew Enza: Stories from the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Laura Spinney, author of Pale Rider, wrote: “When asked what was the biggest disaster of the twentieth century, almost nobody answers the Spanish flu…The Spanish flu is remembered personally, not collectively. Not as a historical disaster, but as millions of discrete, private tragedies.”

Perhaps this is why I was compelled to focus on the personal impact to families when I started researching the 1918 flu pandemic (also known as the Spanish flu). Since then, I have felt inspired to collect and share these stories, so that we can remember the 1918 flu and those affected by it. This site is dedicated to telling the stories of the men, women, and children who lived through or died in the pandemic.

The title of this page refers to a haunting nursery rhyme that young girls changed while jumping rope. It hints at the wide-spread prevalence and impact of the flu.

I had a little bird
And its name was Enza.
I opened the window
And in-flew-enza.

It does not hint at the devastating consequences. These will be covered in the blog posts that will occur once a month.

If you would like to share your family story via this website, please use the contact form below or send an email to

Also check out our parent site Bridging The Past.