My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MONDAY'S MOTHERS - Annie Taylor Boulo (1891-1918)

Annie Randall Taylor was born on January 15, 1891, in Mobile, Alabama. She was the middle child of 9 born to Hiram Columbus Taylor (1857-1943) and Mary J. Dillon (1863-1945). On June 1, 1914, Annie married my 1st cousin 3x removed, Paul Augustus Boulo.

Paul Boulo, born July 15, 1889, was the oldest of four children born to my 2nd great-grand Aunt (3rd great-aunt) Luciana "Lucy" Fortier (1861-1942) and Paul Augustus Boulo (1842-1909). [Lucy was the younger sister of my 2nd great-Grandmother Odalie Fortier Horst (1857-1920).] Paul's father was a Civil War veteran, wounded in the Battle of Shiloh (Tennessee). He came back to Mobile after he was wounded, married Lucy Fortier and started a ship chandlery business in the port city.

Annie and Paul started their family right away, having their first child nine and a half months after they were married. Paul Augustus Boulo, Jr. was born on April 15, 1915. By 1918, they were again expecting. This time they were having twins - whether they knew it during her pregnancy isn't known. But no doubt they were excitedly looking forward to the arrival of their new addition, along with 3 year-old Paul. But it wasn't meant to be.

About October 14, 1918, Annie came down with Influenza. This was less than 3 weeks since the first case was reported in Alabama. The Spanish flu, as it was known, was sweeping across the globe, on its second wave of the year - a much deadlier wave than the first. Unlike typical influenza which effects the old, the young, and those with weak immune systems, the Spanish flu struck young, healthy individuals. Ninety-nine percent of pandemic deaths occurred in people under 65 years old; more than half of the deaths were in people 20 to 40 years old. Also unlike typical flu which strikes during the winter, summer and autumn were the primary months of the Spanish flu. Spread initially by soldiers in camp during WWI, more U.S. soldiers died from influenza than from the enemy.

Estimates of deaths in the U.S. from Spanish flu run between 500,000 and 650,000. Between 20 and 40 million people worldwide died from this incredibly virulent form of influenza - a strain of the H1N1 virus. Other estimations put the death toll as 100 million. One-fifth of the world's population were infected. More people died in one year of the influenza pandemic than in the 4 years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague of 1347-1351. [NOTE: The 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic was also a strain of the H1N1 virus with many similarities. My middle son and I contracted the Swine Flu in June 2009 - one of 61 million estimated people worldwide who were infected. Of those over 14,000 died.]

Those that caught the virus suffered greatly."Within hours of feeling the first symptoms of extreme fatigue, fever, and headache, victims would start turning blue. Sometimes the blue color became so pronounced that it was difficult to determine a patient's original skin color. The patients would cough with such force that some even tore their abdominal muscles. Foamy blood exited from their mouths and noses. A few bled from their ears. Some vomited; others became incontinent." [from] Deaths most often occurred from pneumonia; bacterial pneumonia effected those with slower-progressing flu.

That is exactly what happened to young Annie Boulo, only 27 at the time she became ill. Two days after first contracting the flu she came down with "Broncho-Pneumonia (Septic)". While suffering the painful effects of the virus, Annie went in to premature labor sometime after 6 a.m. on the 18th. She delivered two boys, who soon died. On the death certificate of one son, it was written the baby lived less than 2 hours. Still fighting to live, Annie survived the births and deaths of her much anticipated babies. Unfortunately the next day Annie, too, died at the home she shared with her husband and 3-year-old son - 853 Dauphin Street. October 1918 was the deadliest month in U.S. history - during the month there were 195,000 fatalities from the flu. Annie was one of 11,000 Alabamians to die during the global pandemic.

Annie was buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile in her parents' plot. It is said she was buried with each of her babies placed in her arms. Paul Boulo remarried in 1919 to Lois Hudson (1899-1981) and had three more children. He served as Vice Consul to the Netherlands, was a foreign freight broker and forwarding agent, and owner of Cottage Hill Nursery in Mobile. He died on January 12, 1953. Annie's only child, Paul, Jr., married Beryl Josephine Morgan (1920-1968); they had no children. He died October 8, 1973.

For more reading on the 1918 Influenza Pandemic check out:

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