Local victims of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic: Part 2

Photo by Jake Boudrot -- Some of the Isle Madame victims of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 were buried at the first cemetery for Notre Dame de l’Assomption Church in Arichat.

Thanks to a Facebook post by Dr. Steven DeRoche, the identities of local Spanish Flu victims have been made known. In the following columns, I hope to bring the identities of these victims to a wider audience.

The records indicate the death from the Spanish Flu of Willie Martell, son of Willie Martell on October 21, 1918 at Samson’s Cove. It is believed that this victim was a child in that the parish records state that “5 little children” were buried on October 21. It is also thought that the child was Joseph Laurent Martell born June 26, 1918 at Samson’s Cove, son of William Edouard Martell and Alvina (Minnie) Samson.

October 23 marks the death of Wilfred Felix Samson of Samson’s Cove. He was a fisherman, 25 years old, married only two years to Evangéline Samson. Also known as Willie à Felix, he was the son of Felix Samson and Lucie Madeleine Boudreau. His mother, sister and son also died of Spanish Influenza.

A day later, another young fisherman (24 years old), also of Samson’s Cove, fell victim to the flu. This was Ernest Albert Martell, son of Léandre Martell and Marie Barbe Landry. He was married to Sabine Rose Martell. She survived the pandemic and in 1923 remarried to Wilfred William Boudreau.

Helena Marie (Lena) Samson was 24 years old when she died of Spanish Flu at Petit de Grat on October 25, 1918. She was the daughter of Hilaire Samson and Marie Elizabeth (Mariah) Boudreau. Lena was married to André Arsène (Andrew) Samson. Andrew later married Marie Cécile Irène Boudreau. Lena also lost two siblings to the pandemic.

According to St. Joseph parish records, the child of Andrew and Lena Samson was buried with Lena on October 16, 1918. Vital Statistics, however, records no burial of a child on that date. It is presumed that the child was unborn when Lena died. This has been confirmed by Lena’s granddaughter, Odille.

Marie Agnès (Minnie) Landry, 30 years of age, was married to Albert Landry of Petit de Grat on January 25, 1909. She was born at Samson’s Cove, the daughter of Felix Samson and Lucie Madeleine Boudreau. Her mother, brother, and Nephew also died of the Spanish Flu.

On October 25, Sabine Rose Boudreau, 30 years old, died at Petit de Grat; another victim of the Spanish Flu Pandemic. At the time of her death she was married to Henry David, Her parents were Hilaire Boudreau and Seraphine.

Catherine Boudreau, though only 15 years old, worked as a servant girl. She died of Spanish Influenza at Samson’s Cove on October 26, 1918. It is believed that this Catherine Boudreau was, in fact, Sophie (Catherine) Boudreau, daughter of William Docithé Boudreau and Eliza Jeanne Boudreau.

François Xavier (Francis) Boudreau was born on July 10, 1896 at Boudreauville. Then 22 years later on October 27, 1918, he died of the Spanish Flu. The son of Jean Isaie Boudreau and Eugénie Hébert, he was unmarried at the time of his death.

Samson’s Cove continued to be a hotspot for the virus. At this place on October 27, Marie Alice Martell, the seven-year-old daughter of Thomas Joseph Martell and Elizabeth Jeanne Boudreau, passed.