Sunday, September 25, 2011

Addie K. Johnson, wife of John Mylott, and Death on the Docks of New York City: TyphoMalarial Fever - a Discarded Diagnosis

In the 21st century, clinicians know typhoid fever and malaria as two distinct diseases. However, in the 19th century, even experienced physicians may have been unable to to distinguish between them. When a doctor couldn't determine, the "catch all" diagnosis, "typhoidmalarial fever" was often used. This was the case in the death of great grandmother Addie K Johnson.

Addie K Johnson married John Mylott in Whitehall New York on the 15th of February 1882.  Their marriage did not make its sixth anniversary because Addie Johnson died on New Year's Day 1888 on a canal boat docked in the Atlantic Basin in Brooklyn, New York.  John Mylott was a Champlain canalman and navigated the water from New York Harbor to the St. Lawrence.  Addie and John had several children in that short time: Walter Robert Mylott 1882-1934, Milo Benjamin Mylott 1884- 1937, George Leslie Mylott 1887-1964 and possibly an infant, Eleanor 188?-188?.

The Atlantic Boat Basin in Brooklyn where Champlain Canal
boats docked while in New York Harbor

It was customary for the wife and kids to live aboard in canaling season. So John, Addie, Walter, Benjamin, Leslie and Eleanor were, no doubt, all aboard the canal boat on many trips.  December was late in the season to be traveling the Champlain canal and Hudson River and perhaps in 1887, the ice had not yet formed on the river so they made the trip to New York City with some cargo. Then something went wrong because on December 10th,1887 a doctor began attending Addie while the boat was docked in the Atlantic Basin in Brooklyn.  Twenty one days later, in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 1888, the young mother was dead on the family's canal boat.

Cause of Death:
TyphoMalarial Fever
Meningitis and Convulsions
click on image for more detail

In the 21st century, there is no such diagnosis called TyphoMalarial Fever. Some of the credit in determining the fact that these are two separate diagnoses - before the advantage of modern microbiology and laboratory techniques, goes to the father of modern medicine, William Osler.  A Canadian physician, Osler practiced in Montreal and later Baltimore where he was one of the four founders of John Hopkins Medical School. His famous contribution to medical literature, "The Principles and Practice of Medicine",  a classic blend of keen observation, listening to complaints of patients, clinical experience was published four years after Addie K's death. Below is an abstract of a paper written in 2004 firmly giving Osler credit for his keen ability to differentiate typhoid from malaria.  

Infectious Disease Clinics of North America: 2004 Mar;18(1):111-25.

Osler on typhoid fever: differentiating typhoid from typhus and malaria.

Cunha BA.. 
Early in the history of medicine, physician had a difficult time differentiating acute febrile illnesses without localizing signs. Typhoid fever and malaria share common features, which caused diagnostic problems during the 1800s. Physician even introduced a new term, typho-malaria, a testimony to their diagnostic confusion. Osler, consummate clinician and careful observer, had vast experience with typhoid fever and malaria. He was able to easily discern between the key features of both of these infections. He also relied on fever patterns to clearly differentiate typhoid fever from malaria. Osler is credited for debunking the term typho-malaria. His clinical description of typhoid fever remains unsurpassed. Clinicians still can benefit greatly from reading Osler's clinical description of typhoid fever.

On a personal note, I doubt great grandmother Addie K. died from malarial in the midst of winter in New York City.  The 1887-1888 winter, by all accounts, was unusually cold and later produced the "The Great White Blizzard of 1888" on the east coast and "The Children's Blizzard of 1888" in the upper mid west.  Addie K's death certificate states the doctor began caring for her on December 10th.  Malaria in New York City in December?  It is much more likely Addie succumbed to typhoid due to using water for cooking and drinking directly from the Hudson River while navigating to New York City or while docked in the Atlantic boat basin.  Sewerage into the river ran freely from the cities along the river - Troy, Albany, Kingston, Newburgh, Yonkers and Manhattan. Sanitation on barge boats was not treated and went directly into the waters and if Addie used a bucket dipped into the river water for her cooking, there was a good chance the culprit was typhoid.

There is one other possibility and that is that the death certificate is completely wrong.   There is some  evidence that Addie had an infant girl, Eleanor at the time of her death. Perhaps, the cause of death was  puerperal fever, an infection after childbirth.  We will never know.  

Today, due to modern sanitation, hand washing, and a typhoid vaccination, typhoid fever and puerperal fever are infrequent.

The Lancet, 2002 Oct 26;360(9342):1339.

Addie K's body was returned to Whitehall and she is buried with her family in the North Granville Cemetery along NY route 22.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Raymond A Rivet 1922 - 2007

Raymond A Rivet was only eighteen months old when his mother, Marie Louise Lacasse Rivet died.  He was raised, along with his older siblings, by his father's third wife, Malvina Hamel.  He married Rose, the girl his older brother dated but left behind for military service in World War II. While Raymond joined the US Coast Guard, Al joined the army and was deployed to Europe. Raymond began dating Rose, eventually marrying and moving in to the house on 28 Summit Street in Cohoes. Below is their wedding photograph...

Raymond and Rose on their Wedding Day

I never got to know Uncle Ray very well but I know he was a quiet and unassuming person with down to earth taste and a good father to his boys with a steadfastness when times were hard that lasted to the very end of his life.  

Sitting at tables.... a young man, Ray is the young gentleman sitting on the right side , second from the front.  The occasion for the gathering is not known.

 Sitting at older man now, Ray is at his son's wedding

Finally, here is his obituary from the Albany Times Union:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our Forefathers in the Carignan-Saliéres Regiment

If you are a descendant of a Mylott, a Glode, a Wills, a Beauvais, a Bissonnette, a Yetto, a St Hilaire or a Rivet on this site, you have an ancestor, at least one and probably more, who was in the Carignan-Salieres regiment.  In the mid 1660s, the Carignan-Salieres, veterans of the war with the Ottoman Empire, recruited new young men in France to be sent to the colony in Québec to protect the economic interests of the crown from the Iroquois nation.  The Iroquois, assisted and encouraged by the Dutch and later English interests in New England and New Amsterdam, picked off settlers in the French Colony - sometimes there were massacres of entire settlements in Montréal, called Ville Marie at that time.   The Champlain - Richelieu water corridor made raids into Quebec from New England a straight shot. The reverse was also true, French interests and allies used the same corridor to raid New York and New England.

Twelve hundred troops began arriving in June 1665 and were immediately put into service building Fort Sorel and Fort Ste Anne on Isle la Motte in Lake Champlain, now a part of Vermont. They also constructed Fort St Jean, Fort Ste Therese, and Fort St Louis (later Fort Chambly), all on the Richelieu River.

In January of 1666, the middle of winter, 300 under equipped troops were sent on a fool's mission into enemy territory by the Québec governor.  Traveling over a hundred miles, starving and hypothermic, they arrived in the Dutch settlement of Schenectady where the kind farmers fed and sheltered them.  They returned to Quebec having learned a brutal lesson that many upstate New Yorkers know too well.  Don't go into the north country without the proper equipment in the middle of January!

Scapulurs worn around one's neck.
Made by nuns for divine protection of the soldiers.
Displayed at the museum at Fort Chambly

Then in the fall of 1666, there was another expedition to Iroquois country.  Traveling form Québec, French soldiers reached their destination in the Mohawk Valley, west of Schenectady in two to three weeks.  This time, they were successful destroying several Mohawk villages.  Their efforts earned a peace between the Iroquois and French settlers after more than two decades of guerilla war by Iroquois.

After the peace was made in 1667, the regiments were disbanded and returned to France. However,  over 400 men choose to remain in Quebec, marry and start families there. We are the descendants of many of these soldiers.

 Below is a link to a gorgeously written document of the individual names of soldiers in the Carignan-Salieres Regiments.

A Listing of Soldiers in the Carignan-Salieres Regiment

The Bissonnette (Wills), Beauvais (Wills), Millot (Mylott), Glode-Poissant and Rivet-LaCasse families all have forefathers who served in the Carignan-Salieres Regiment. Although this list is a work in progress, it is a beginning to identify all Carignan-Salieres forefathers of the families on this site.  You may note in the list below, some individuals are in more than one family; they are ancestors in two families and some like Louis Robert and Nicolas Sylvestre, are ancestors in three families.  Here is the list thus far:

In the Glode-Poissant  family there are at least sixteen:
Louis Badillac dit Laplante
Jean Besset dit Brisetout
Jean Bricault dit Lamarche
Jean Brochu dit La Fontaine
Michel Brouillet dit Laviolette
Etienne Charles dit Lajeunesse
Pierre Couc dit LaFleur
Jean Delpé dit Pariseau
Julien Dumont dit LaFleur
Jean Gazaille dit St Germain
André Jarret dit de Beuregard
Jean Lavallée dit Petit Jean 
Pierre Menard dit Lapierre
Issac Paquet dit Lavallée
Louis Robert dit LaPommeraye
Jacques Têtu dit Larivière

In the Bissonnette family there are ten:
Bernard De Niger dit Sanssoucy
René Dumas dit Rencontre 
Antoine Dupré dit Rochefort
Antoine Emery dit Coderre
Aubin Lambert dit Champagne
Louis Robert dit LaPommeraye
Jean Robin dit Lapointe
Antoine Rousseau dit LaBonté
Jacques Suprenant dit Sanssoucy
Nicholas Sylvestre dit Champagne

In the Beauvais family there are eight:
Francois Biville dit Le Picard
Antoine Emery dit Coderre
Pierre Favreau dit Deslauriers
Nicolas Bonin dit St Martin
Julien Lord dit Montagne
Pierre Mésnard dit Xaintogne
Jacques Paviot dit LaPensée
Pierre Morin dit Champagne

In the Millot family there are three:
Francois Chagnon dit LaRose
Louis Robert dit LaPommeraye
Nicholas Sylvestre dit Champagne

In the Rivet and LaCasse families there are ten:
Antoine Casse dit Lacasse
Francois Chagnon dit LaRose
Bernard Delpêche dit Bellair
Antoine Emery dit Coderre
Pierre Favreau dit Deslauriers
Julien Lord dit Montagne
Piere Mageau dit Maisonseule
Pierre Mésnard dit Xaintonge
Eustache Prévost dit Lafleur
Nicolas Sylvestre dit Champagne

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Broad Street in old Waterford

It really isn't hard to recognize the main thoroughfare in Waterford if you are familiar with the territory. All the essentials are there - the town tower. The electric poles and unpaved road probably would this place this between 1890 and 1900. If anyone can contribute to better dating, please put your information in the comments.  This is the image of the town and business neighborhood my grandmother, Edith Lida Glode, and her parents Alex Glode and Angeline Allard all knew well.
Alex and Angeline were born and married in Champlain, NY where they made their living as canalers and raised the first half of their family.  Before my grandmother was born in 1890, they made Waterford their home.  So this view of Broad Street was part of their life when they were not traveling on the canal.

The photo below may be of Marie Angeline Allard, daughter of canalers, wife of a canaler and mother of canalers....the photo was kept with a few others of canalers.  If it isn't Angeline, it is just fine with me because this is the way I like to think of her and all the women who made their homes on the Champlain Canal. Their apron is on and they are ready for cleaning, cooking, navigating, and minding the children and grandchildren! Let's go work!