Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mathew Madigan's Death Certificate - 11 September 1892

Yesterday afternoon, I received in the mail the death certificate of my great-great-great-grandfather, Mathew Madigan. He died on 11 September 1892 - the location appears to be given as 85 Lurfriese St., but it may actually be his home address, 85 Luqueer St. He died on the first floor of a house with 3 families.  His age is given as 51 years old, although his death notice in the Brooklyn Eagle gave it as 50. He was Irish-born, as were both of his parents, and had been in America for 30 years, or approximately since 1862. (I have yet to find immigration records for him, and his naturalization papers don't give an immigration date, but the earliest date on them is 1866.)

Mathew suffered from Gastro Enteric Catarrh for 3 months before his death, and was attended by his doctor, G.W. Welty, M.D., from 15 July 1892, through 10 September 1892. He died the morning of 11 September at 9:30. The secondary cause of death was Asthenia, or weakness.

He was buried at Calvary Cemetery on 14 September 1892. The undertaker looks like it was Jas. L Heart of 496 Court St.

I'm not 100% sure as to what Gastro Enteric Catarrh is. Catarrh is defined as a mucous buildup in the nose and throat, according to Google, but that's not gastrointestinal at all. The 1903 Text-book of the Practice of Medicine by James Meschter Anders indicates that it's a childhood diarrheal disease:

The 1907 A text-book on the practice of medicine by Hobart Amory Hare seems to indicate that in adults, it's more of a discomfort with possible vomiting:

Since the death certificate indicates that Mathew Madigan suffered from Gastro Enteric Catarrh for 3 months, it was clearly a somewhat chronic condition, not an acute attack of diarrhea or anything else, but I'm having trouble finding any definitions of chronic gastro enteric catarrh. The most "chronic" gastric distress I've ever had lasted about a week, and based on that experience, I am not remotely surprised that a 3-month bout of intestinal distress could contribute significantly to weakness and loss of strength, or asthenia.

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