Monday, October 12, 2009

Genealogy of Communities: Asylums, Hospitals, and Sanitariums

Census lists are continually revealing, and sometimes it's a good idea to go back and revisit census records we have already researched. In days past, we tracked where we had been in our research, so we would not go back and tread the same ground. Today, as more and more data comes online with greater indexing and search capabilities, going back may yield new and interesting information. In the latest," "Genealogy of Communities: Asylums, Hospitals, and Sanitariums," Judy Rosella Edwards explores the information derived from census records of these communities. As the article states, "Asylum residents were enumerated and the asylum considered their home." Staff members may also be included, if they lived on the premises. The article provides insights into the "astonishing amount of detailed genealogical data" that can be gleaned from these records.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Researching family lore

Sooner or later the family historian is likely to come across evidence suggesting a family member spent time in some type of mental institution. In earlier times, this information was very hush-hush. In her article, "Asylums, State Hospitals, and Private Institutions," Gena Philibert-Ortega not only gives some ideas for researching family members that may have live and/or died in an institution, but also gives a little insight into how people might end up there. You might be surprised, for example, to learn that a husband could have his wife committed for no particular reason. And while you may not be able to learn all you would like to know, owing to privacy laws governing such records, beyond death, some resources are available that may at least help you confirm family lore and pinpoint time and place.

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