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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 ($).
The Homeless Children (in Institutions) schedule gives information that may not otherwise be available (especially for private institutions).
Questions on this schedule are:
1. Is the child’s father deceased?
2. Is the child’s mother deceased?
3. Has the child been abandoned by his (or her) parents?
4. Has this child’s parents surrendered the control over him (or her) to the institution?
5. Was this child born in the institution?
6. If no so born, state year when admitted.
7. Is the child illegitimate?
8. Is this child separated from his or her (living) mother?
9. Has he (or she) ever been arrested? If yes, for what alleged offense?
10. Has he (or she) ever been convicted or sentenced?
11. Has the origin of this child been respectable?
12. Has he (or she) been rescued from criminal surroundings?
13. Is this child blind?
14. Is he (or she) a deaf-mute?
15. Is he (or she) an idiot?
If there are any notations to questions 9 or 10, it is wise to follow up with local police and court records. Probate records, especially in the cases where parents surrendered control (question 4), should be examined for possible guardianship records. Death records should be examined if either of the parents are deceased.
Figure: Homeless Children in Institutes (county Almshouse), District 20, New Castle County, Delaware
The Prisoners schedule asks for the alleged offense, date of incarceration, length of sentence, and labor performed in the penitentiary.
Inhabitants in Prison Schedule, District 35, Kent County, Delaware
The Pauper and Indigent Inhabitants (in Institutions) schedule asks who is supporting the person (city, county, state, or institution), physical condition, type of disability (if applicable), and date of admission. It also asks what other members of the family are in the institution (spouse, parent, children, and siblings). With this information, it may be possible to reconstruct a family in the institution.
The Pauper schedule also asked if the person was blind, deaf and dumb, insane, or idiotic. The Prisoner and Homeless Children schedules also asked for this information. However, the Pauper schedule is the only one where the enumerator was instructed to then carry that person over to the other schedule as appropriate. Therefore, it is possible for a person to be enumerated on more than one special schedule.
The Pauper schedule should be used in conjunction with the Homeless Children schedule for institutions with both adults and children. The adults were to be listed on the Pauper schedule, while the children were placed on the Homeless Children schedule. When the Pauper schedule indicates that a person has a child in the institution, be certain to look at the Homeless Children schedule.
Figure: Pauper & Indigent Schedule, District 40, Kent County,
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course US: Institutional Records offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at email@example.com
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