Friday, February 27, 2009


Today my requested death certificates arrived. They were not certificates like we know today but, rather, information written in a ledger.

First interesting fact. The great grandfather Anton Sperl, whom I had suspected his death was unexpected, it was indeed. He died at the age of 38 from Typhoid Fever. The length of his illness was three weeks. Typhoid is a strain of Salmonella.

It is spread by ingesting food or water contaminated with the feces of another infected person. The treatment today is a course of antibiotics, especially Ampicillin. It is said that more people die from infection (pre antibiotics) than any other cause. This is especially true in the Civil War and the World War I and II. Antibiotics came into use at the end of World War II. With the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria we may be heading in that direction again.

Anton’s parents died with in a few years Christ, age 72 from asthma and Margaret, age 74, from pneumonia.

I found another for Thomas Naughton, 12 months, from fever. They lived in Dookers Hollow, in North Braddock PA. Could this be Bridget’s brother? The babies father is listed as Thomas Naughton and mother Nora Thornton, born in Ireland. Dookers Hollow was a small area and that is where Bridget Naughton Dowd lived. Thomas died in October 1893.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you were able to get the death certificates and find the cause of death. I always wonder about ancestors who die relatively young. There are so many people who died from illness during the Civil War, for instance.