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Clan of Madmen

Clan of Madmen

Posted: 8 Oct 2010 6:38AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: van arsdale, vanarsdale, van orsdell, aertsdalen, van aertsdalen, van arsdall, orsdell, orsdall, van orsdall, artsdalen, van artsdalen, van artsdale, artsdale
So in researching my history, I've found that madness abounds in my family tree. The branch of my great grandmother is particularly interesting, so much so that I began a website devoted to it.
http://vanarsdalefamilyhistory.wordpress.com/
I've only really just begun construction, so it is by no means comprehensive, but the insights will be obvious to you.
My question is this: I've found hundreds of stories regarding family being institutionalized (this might give you an idea why this is so important to me: http://www.congressionalcemetery.org/sites/default/files/Obi... This is only one small example) but how do I go about finding out why and when and where? Is it a matter of isolating the place of death and seeking death certificates? I was hoping to find censuses or something, but no such luck.

Thank you!

Crystal Gross

Re: Clan of Madmen

Posted: 30 Oct 2010 4:33PM GMT
Classification: Query
I was actually able to locate my 2nd gr-grandmother in the census for Kings Park & Creedmoor hospitals. It took a lot of persistence but I found her. Interestingly, she was listed in the 1920 census as being home in 1920 (which seemed unlikely to me) but in the hospital for both 1910 & 1930 censuses. I then checked the census for the hospital for 1920 and there she was. You might consider continuing your search in the census records.

You might have a difficult time finding out why unless you can get the actual psychiatric records or talk to family members for clues.

Good luck.

Re: Clan of Madmen

Posted: 25 Oct 2011 2:17AM GMT
Classification: Query
Your website is fascinating. Thank you for sharing your findings. I'm interested in knowing more about the criteria the courts used for determining whether a person should be adjudged insane(or not). I'm in the process of collecting death certificates, but in the meantime can you direct me to some useful resources?
I would also like to know if the different counties and states all used the same guidelines for institutionalizing people. I'm concentrating on the Champaign County, Illinois area from 1875-1950. Also, are you aware of any psychiatric reference books (that were dated in the 1900's) that could describe the symptoms, diagnosis and treatments of various mental illnesses? I'd like to gain some insight on melancholia, post-partum depression and paralysis of insane.
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