Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Imelda Desgroseilliers (1917-1935), A Young Death

Born on 14 September 1917 in St. Charles, south of Sudbury, Ontario, Imelda was the 14th of 16 children of Prospère and Emma (Beaulne) Desgroseilliers. [1] She was my maternal grandfather Eugène Desgroseilliers’ first cousin. 

Imelda Desgroseilliers (1917-1935) baptism record
Imelda Desgroseilliers baptism record (Ancestry.ca)

Eighty years ago today, on 1 December 1935, Imelda died in St. Paul’s Hospital in Hearst, in northeastern Ontario. [2]

Earlier that year in February, 17-year-old Imelda married Armand Lachance. [3] Almost immediately, she became pregnant.

Nine months later, Imelda gave birth to a son on 24 November 1935 in St. Paul’s Hospital; it was a “prolonged and difficult” delivery. [4] This serious situation led to “asphyxia neonatorum” for her child. [5] Newborn Joseph Armand did not get enough oxygen during the birth process; he lived only ten hours. [6]

Six days later, Imelda was dead; she was just 18 years old. The cause: pulmonary embolism due to puerperal infection. [7] One or more blood clots, presumably originating in her leg, dislodged and travelled up to Imelda’s lung(s). [8] The contributory cause, puerperal infection, is a “bacterial infection of the female reproductive tract following childbirth or miscarriage”. [9] Some symptoms are fever, chills, and lower abdominal pain. Puerperal infection “usually occurs after the first 24 hours and within the first ten days following delivery”. [10] Modern medical treatment and antibiotics might have saved Imelda’s life. [11]

Imelda Desgroseilliers (1917-1935) death registration
Imelda Desgroseilliers death registration (Ancestry.ca)

Imelda was buried on 3 December 1935 in Hallewood (now Hallebourg), near Hearst. [12] Her memory lived on in her family when her brother Armand named his eldest daughter ‘Imelda’ when she was born in June 1939. [13]

Sources:

1. St-Charles (St. Charles, Ontario), parish register, 1902-1925, p. 321 stamped, entry no. 27 (1917), Marie Imelda Adrienne Désgroseillier (written as Marie Imelda Adrienne Désgroseillier, indexed as Marie Imelda Adrienne Desgroseillier) baptism, 16 September 1917; St-Charles parish; digital images, “Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 23 May 2013). Imelda’s baptism record gives her date of birth.

2. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 May 2013), entry for Emelda Lachance [sic], 1 December 1935; citing Archives of Ontario, Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1938; Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Archives of Ontario; microfilm series MS935, reel 508.

3. St-Charles, parish register, 1902-1925, p. 321 stamped, Marie Imelda Adrienne Désgroseillier baptism, 16 September 1917. Imelda’s date and place of marriage appear as a notation in her baptism record.

4. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital images, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 22 November 2015), entry for Joseph Armand Lachance, 25 November 1935; citing Archives of Ontario, Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1938; Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Archives of Ontario; microfilm series MS935, reel 507.

5. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital images, Ancestry.ca, entry for Joseph Armand Lachance, 25 November 1935.

6. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital images, Ancestry.ca, entry for Joseph Armand Lachance, 25 November 1935.

7. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital images, Ancestry.ca, entry for Emelda Lachance, 1 December 1935.

8. “Diseases and Conditions”, database, Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pulmonary-embolism/multimedia/pulmonary-embolism/img-20006463 : accessed 30 November 2015), “pulmonary embolism”.

9. Wikipedia contributors, "Puerperal infections", Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Puerperal_infections&oldid=681922803 : accessed 30 November 2015).

10. Wikipedia contributors, "Puerperal infections", Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

11. Wikipedia contributors, "Puerperal infections", Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

12. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947”, digital images, Ancestry.ca, entry for Emelda Lachance, 1 December 1935.

13. St-Michel-Archange (Rouyn, Quebec), parish register, 1939, p. 41 verso, entry no. B.121, Imelda Anna Maria Desgroseillers [sic] baptism, 3 July 1939; St-Michel-Archange parish; digital images, “Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967”, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 November 2015).

Copyright © 2015, Yvonne Demoskoff.

1 comment:

  1. Cindy (CK) DesGrosseilliers1 December 2015 at 13:24

    Amazing. My aunt is the Imelda mentioned at the end of the story. She is still alive. My sister was also named Imelda but goes by Michelle. We didn't know the story about my grandfather Armand's sister dying after childbirth or why my aunt was named for her. I will tell my dad when next I see him!

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