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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course United States: Institutional Records by Amy Johnson Crow, CG. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
1880 Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Schedules
The 1880 census is the mother lode of questions pertaining to physical condition, criminal status, and poverty. In addition to the basic questions on the population schedule, additional questions were posed in the ‘Supplemental Schedules for the Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes’, commonly called the Defective Schedule or DDD Schedule.
When a person was noted as blind, deaf and dumb, idiotic, insane, ‘maimed, crippled, bedridden, or otherwise disabled’, or was enumerated in a prison, orphanage, or poorhouse, further information was to be gathered on one of seven special schedules:
- Idiots [defined as those ‘whose mental faculties was arrested in infancy or childhood before coming to maturity’]
- Homeless Children (in Institutions)
- Inhabitants in Prison
- Pauper and Indigent Inhabitants (in Institutions)
These special schedules are arranged in the same order as the population schedule. When you find someone on the 1880 census who is noted as insane, etc., make note of the enumeration district, page number, and line which that person appears. The special schedules should exist for each enumeration district; this information is listed at the top of each special schedule. Each person is listed in the order he or she appears on the population schedule; the page and line numbers are given before each person’s name.
The Figure below shows Eliza Derickson enumerated in the 1880 census in the County Alms House, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware (enumeration district 20, page 21, line 2). We can see that she is ‘maimed, crippled, bedridden, or otherwise disabled’. With the enumeration district, page and line numbers, we can go to the correct special schedule
Figure: Eliza Derickson enumerated in the 1880 Census
The Insane and Idiots schedules are similar in many regards. Both ask the age at onset. The Insane schedule asks for ‘Form of Disease’ [defined as mania, melancholia, paresis (general paralysis), dementia, epilepsy, or dipsomania.] The Idiots schedule asks for the supposed cause. The instructions to the enumerators give as examples, ‘scarlet fever, measles, meningitis, etc., blow on head, fall,etc., fright, etc. Both schedules ask for the names of any institutions the person had been in, the length of stay, and year discharged.
With many records of mental hospitals and asylums closed to the public, the Insane and Idiots schedules may be a researcher’s only record with medical information of those who were institutionalized. It must be remembered, however, that it is unknown who gave the information, especially if the person was not in an institution at the time of the census (when the enumerator was likely getting information from the institution records.)
Figure: Insane Schedule, District 36, Kent County, Delaware
Figure: Idiots Schedule, District 36, Kent County, Delaware
The Deaf-Mutes and Blind schedules are virtually identical. Both ask for the supposed cause, age of onset, whether the person was self-supporting, the name of institutions attended, length of time in that institution, and year discharged.
Figure: Deaf-Mutes Schedule, District 24, Fulton County, Ohio
Figure: Blind Schedule, District 24, Fulton County, Ohio
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