Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday's Tip: Finding Deaf Ancestors and Relatives in Schools for the Deaf Historical Records

Columbus, Ohio Former School For Deaf
Source; Wdzinc. "Columbus Ohio Former School For Deaf." Photograph. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 28 March 2015.
March 13 marked the beginning of Deaf History Month 2015, which concludes on April 15. During this month, I will be listing tips and strategies for researching your deaf ancestors and relatives in historical records.

We've been following the three deaf children of my ancestors, Ezra and Cynthia (PHILLIPS) DICKINSON, through a variety of historical records to flesh out their lives. As mentioned previously, Ezra moved his family back to Ohio in 1842 after living in Indiana for six years, in order to qualify his children to attend the Ohio Deaf and Dumb Asylum, as there was no such school in Indiana at that time.

If you believe your deaf ancestors and relatives attended a school for the deaf--and even if you're not sure--you should consider obtaining historical school records for those individuals. Admission records can contain basic genealogical information such as date of birth, parents' names and residence, and the onset of deafness (genetic or injury/illness-caused). Additionally, knowing when your ancestor attended school can enhance their personal timeline, and help you determine if they met their deaf spouse at that particular school. Finally, reading about the history of the school may give you a snapshot in time of what your ancestor's life was like while living at the school (which were typically boarding schools). The following are some ways to determine if your family members attended a school for the deaf.

First of all, you may wish to see if your family member appears at a school for the deaf during a regular federal census enumeration, even if they are also enumerated with their family in the same census. Although Thomas Sherman Dickinson appears with his parents and siblings in Hicksville, Defiance County, Ohio in 1850, he is also enumerated at the Ohio Deaf and Dumb Asylum in Columbus, Franklin County (see line 15):

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Another hint for whether your deaf ancestors and relatives attended a school for the deaf is to check out county histories and biographies for the locations and relatives of your deaf individual's families. This is how I originally knew my Dickinsons attended the Ohio Deaf and Dumb Asylum. In 2012 and 2014, I wrote a couple of posts on how to access these county histories and biographies (also known as Mug Books). You can read more about them here and here. Below is the biography of Ezra Dickinson from the DeKalb County, Indiana county history that mentions the deaf and dumb asylum:

Where can you find historical records for schools for the deaf? First, understand that these records are most likely off line and not available to research via the Internet. Secondly, it's important to locate those particular schools. Both the Gallaudet University website and Wikipedia provide comprehensive lists of schools for the deaf in the United States. Cyndi's List provides links to a number of historical schools for the deaf. Another good resource is the Repositories of Primary Sources site, which not only links to schools and institutions with repositories, but state archives, which often are the repositories for state schools for the deaf. Don't forget local genealogical and historical societies. They may know where historical records for the local school for the deaf are now housed. Finally, a catalog search on the keywords deaf school at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City yields in a global list of 45 results. Wherever you locate a school archive--on campus, with the state archives, through a society, or via the Family History Library--you may have to pay a research fee or hire a researcher to locate and obtain copies of the records.

Don't forget that name changes in institutions were not uncommon. For instance, the school my Dickinsons attended was founded in 1826 as the Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. Although the following year the state legislature changed the name to the Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, it continued to informally be called the Deaf and Dumb Asylum in a number of historical records and histories. Around 1904, the name was changed to the Ohio State School for the Deaf. Use a variety of terms to do online searches to find books and images--modern and historical photographs and photo postcards--related to your ancestors' educational institution.

I was fortunate to connect with another genealogist who had purchased microfilmed admission registers of the Ohio Deaf and Dumb Asylum. She kindly looked up my Dickinson relatives and shared her finds with me:

John Fletcher Dickinson, resident of Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH. Parents, etc: Ezra Dickinson. Born 10 May 1825. Admitted 30 Sept 1845. Cause: congenital. Deaf/mute relations: one brother and one sister. Discharged 6 Mar 1848. (Admission register 1, p. 110, entry 284).

Thomas S. Dickinson, resident of Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH. Parents, etc: Ezra Dickinson. Born Nov 1835. Admitted 3 Sept 1845. Cause: congenital. Deaf/mute relations: one brother and one sister. Discharged July 1851. Absent one year. (Admission register 1, p. 110, entry 285). [This is the first record I've seen that named Sherman Dickinson as Thomas S. Dickinson.]

DICKINSON, Harriet Ann. Residence: Hicksville, Defiance Co., OH. Parents, etc: Ezra Dickinson. B. 12 Apr 1840 [family and census records are more aligned with 1838 as her year of birth]. Adm. 23 Nov 1850. Cause: congenital. Deaf/mute relations: two brothers. Discharged July 1851. (Vol. 1, p. 158, entry 450)

The Ohio School for the Deaf history page provides a wonderful account of the daily life of students at the time my Dickinsons attended:

Starting in 1845, a new building was erected on the Institution grounds for approximately $3,000 being spent for the heating apparatus and furnishings.  One hundred four students were enrolled in the facility in 1845; however, the new wing increased the school's capacity to one hundred fifty students.  Other improvements of the era included the replacement of tallow candles by coal oil at the Institution.
An 1850 account of daily life at the school indicated the following schedule of activities.  The children were awakened at about 5:00 a.m. so that they might eat breakfast, family-style, with all teachers and officers (administration) in attendance.  Students then completed all "household" chores followed by a study hall until 8:30 a.m., supervised by responsible students.  Recess lasted until 9:00 a.m. at which time all the students and staff congregated in the chapel for prayers.  The one hundred students then went to one of six classrooms for instruction until noon.  After lunch, the children returned to their classrooms to study until 4:00 p.m.  (School was also held on Saturday morning.)  The boys worked on the grounds at various duties and the girls sewed from the time school ended until supper at 6:00 p.m.  The students studied once again in the evenings.
Wherever your deaf ancestors and relatives attended school, if you can access their historical records, you are sure to find a bounty of information!

Next week, we'll look at locating your deaf ancestors and relatives in other major record groups.


Other posts on this topic:

Tuesday's Tip: Researching Your Deaf Ancestors in U.S Federal Censuses

Tuesday's Tip: Using the U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895

Tuesday's Tip: Locating Deaf Ancestors and Relatives in Other Major Record Groups

Thursday's Tip: Resource Wrap Up for Researching Your Deaf Ancestors and Relatives

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 2015 Scanfest

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Finds and Follows: 27 March 2015

Note: I am undergoing knee surgery on Thursday, April 2nd, so I'll be skipping posting Friday Finds and Follows on April 3rd. It's not a post that would be easy to pre-write and schedule, especially with how busy I'll be in getting everything else done before surgery. Thank you for your patience, and be sure to check back on Friday, April 10th for the next Friday Finds and Follows post!

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

Finding the truth about great-grandpa’s plot to kill Czar Alexander III by Vera Miller at Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family - talk about your family secrets! A must-read!

Reverend Newton Pinckney Walker, Esq. - 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 7, "Love" by Amy W. Kelly at Shaking My Family Tree - if you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know I've been posting tips for finding your deaf ancestors during Deaf History Month. Amy relates the story of how her ancestor founded the first School for the Deaf in South Carolina, out of love for his wife's three deaf siblings.

10 Ways Your Genealogy Society Might Be Driving Away Visitors by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small - how does your society rate?

Tracking Elusive People through the Past by Elizabeth Shown Mills at QuickTips: The Blog @ Evidence Explained - some basic, common-sense strategies for tracking elusive people through the past, a.k.a. our "brick wall ancestors."

Reconstructing the Lives of Yesteryear's Women, also by Elizabeth Shown Mills at QuickTips: The Blog @ Evidence Explained - Elizabeth offers "6 tips for teasing yesteryear’s women out of the shadows in which they lived."

The Fifth (and Final) American Civil War Blogpost Challenge by Bill West at West in New England - do you have a Civil War ancestor or relative? Now's your last chance to write about him or her and have it included in Bill's Blogpost Challenge. Due date is May 13th.

Gone Fishing by Greenman Tim at Walking the Berkshires - in the last month or so, I've had the pleasure of reading recent blog posts written by some of the original geneabloggers who have since taken a hiatus and then returned to blogging. Tim's is another to add to your list.

Which Black's? and More dictionaries by Judy G. Russell at The Legal Genealogist - you should most definitely have a copy of Black's Law Dictionary at hand or on your computer when doing genealogical research. The second post is especially helpful for non-U.S. researchers.

March Library Jewel #1: 1897 post route map of WA by Brian Zylstra at From Our Corner (the blog of the Washington State Secretary of State) - Brian posts a digital image of a historic Washington State map, with hints for two more upcoming soon!

Salt Lake Plaza Hotel Announces New 2015 Research Your Roots #Genealogy Package by Leland Meitzler at GenealogyBlog - plan to do some research in SLC soon? Check out this excellent package!

My New Genealogy Follows at Twitter:

No new ones this week.

Genealogy Facebook Pages I've "Liked":

Follow Me

Check out my websites:

Online Historical Directories 

Online Historical Newspapers

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday's Tip: Using the U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895

March 13 marked the beginning of Deaf History Month 2015, which concludes on April 15. During this month, I will be listing tips and strategies for researching your deaf ancestors and relatives in historical records.

Last week, I explained how my ancestor, Ezra DICKINSON, and his three deaf children could be traced through most of the U.S. Federal Censuses from 1830 through 1910. There is another special census that was taken over the course of the years 1888 to 1895 that specifically enumerated deaf individuals in the United States. Titled "the U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895," it set out to gather statistics on deaf family members and their hearing relatives to determine if deafness was genetic, and if so, how it impacted family members. Because specific information about deaf individual's parents, siblings, spouses, and children was obtained, this census gives a unique outline of a deaf person's family tree that is much better constructed than what you would find in regular census records.

When you click on the link to the database for the U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1888-1895, be sure to scroll down to read the historical background about the census, and the information under "About this Database," which Ancestry.com has included. It is very helpful to understanding more about this census.

I entered the surname "Dickinson" into the search engine for this database and came up with 14 results. You can see that John Fletcher Dickinson and his wife Chloe Bates, as well as Thomas "Sherman" Dickinson and his wife Jennie Hensinger both appear twice in the list of results, one as the main individual, and one as the spouse (Sherman appears a third time without a spouse in this list). The nice feature of this census (and the search engine for this database) is that women's maiden names were given, increasing the chances of finding deaf females who married, as well as discovering maiden names that may have been unknown up to this point in your ancestral search.

Click image to enlarge
These census forms consisted of four pages. The first page of these forms can be downloaded at Ancestry.com, but the following three cannot. I used my photo editing software to create screen shots of the three final pages of the form. In today's post, we will be examining the census record of John Fletcher Dickinson and his wife, Chloe A. Bates. Here is the first page.

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From the notes on the first page of the form, you can see that Benjamin Talbot (who may have been an interpreter or family friend) had difficulty extracting information from John. It's too bad he just didn't have John look at the form and fill it out himself. We do know from other records that John and Chloe married 19 March 1856 in Trumbull County, Ohio and that they had at least four children, none of which were deaf.

Here's the second page, in two parts:

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On this page, John's father's name, Ezra, is given and his own full name is also listed. This is the first place I discovered that his middle initial "F" stood for "Fletcher." He also names his brother Sherman (married twice and living at Auburn, Indiana) and his sister Harriet (married to a hearing man) as his deaf siblings. He gives the birth years for all three, states he is deaf since birth (which conflicts with information he gave on the 1880 DDD Census Schedule), and that he attended the Ohio State School for the Deaf while living in Hicksville. He also gives the year he was admitted, how old he was when admitted, and how many years he attended. Finally, he gives his occupation and current residence.

Click either image above to enlarge

John's wife Chloe gives her information on page 3. Her father was William R. Bates, and she was born in 1824. She was the only deaf person in her family and became so at the age of one and a half due to inflammation of the brain. She also attended the Ohio State School for the Deaf, while she resided in Hiram. She spent six years at that school. She may have met John at that school, although calculating the dates, it would have been her last year and his first year there that probably overlapped.

Click either image above to enlarge

The final page has remarks, the date the information was completed, and a signature of an individual who was probably the enumerator. Note they referenced the 1890 census cards. Where could those gems possibly be today?

While I do not show them here, Sherman's records have even more information. Half are duplicated twice, which accounts for his name being listed three times in the search results. He gives their mother's maiden name (Cynthia Phillips) as well as the fact that he was one of 12 children, three of which were deaf. Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate John and Sherman's sister Harriet on this special census, no matter how creative I made my searches. I believe she wasn't enumerated. Even on special censuses, people got missed!

If your deaf ancestors or relatives were alive during 1888 to 1895 in the United States, be sure to check out this special census. It likely will provide useful information to construct your family tree and to learn about their education, if they had any.

Next week, we will delve into historical records at schools for the deaf.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Scanfest is Coming!

The March 2015 Scanfest will take place here at AnceStories this coming Sunday, March 29th, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time.
What is Scanfest? It's a time when geneabloggers, family historians, and family archivists meet online here at this blog to chat while they scan their precious family documents and photos. Why? Because, quite honestly, scanning is time-consuming and boring!

Scanfest is a great time to "meet" other genealogists, ask questions about scanning and preservation, and get the kick in the pants we all need on starting those massive scanning projects that just seem too overwhelming to begin.

To get started, you need to know the basics about scanning:

1. Don't use commercial glass cleaners (i.e. Windex) or paper towels to clean your scanner's glass plate. Use a soft, clean cloth, preferably microfiber. If you must use a liquid, use water sprayed directly onto the cloth  and make sure to let the plate dry thoroughly before placing photos or documents on it.

2. Wear cotton gloves (available at many art and/or photography supply shops) when handling photos and old documents.

3. Don't slide the photos around on the glass plate. Place them exactly where you want them. Photos should NEVER be scanned by a scanner that feeds the document through the machine, but ALWAYS on a flat-bed scanner.

4. Set your scanner to scan at no smaller than 300 dpi (dots per inch). Many experts recommend 600 dpi for photographs.

5. Photographs should ALWAYS be scanned and saved as .tif files. Use "Save As" to reformat the .tif file to a .jpg file for restoration and touchups, emailing, or uploading to an online photo album. ALWAYS retain the original scan as a .tif file.

6. Documents can be scanned as .pdf files or .tif files.

7. When you are done scanning your photos, don't put them back in those nasty "magnetic" photo albums. Place them in archival safe albums or boxes found at websites such as Archival Products or Archival Suppliers. Do NOT store any newsprint (articles, obituaries, etc.) with the photos. The acid from the newspaper will eventually destroy the photograph.

Now about the chatting part of Scanfest:

We will be using Blyve, a live blogging platform that you access right here at AnceStories. On Sunday at 11 AM, PDT, come right here to AnceStories and you'll see the Blyve live blog/forum in the top post. It's not really a "chat room," per se, it's more like a live forum and anyone visiting this site can read and see what is happening in the forum.

You will not need to download any software.

We look forward to having you participate with us!

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Friday Finds and Follows: 20 March 2015 (A Day Late)

Apologies for the late posting this week. Life sometimes gets in the way of genealogy!

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

SeekingMichigan, the website for the Michigan Historical Center and the Archives of Michigan, released images of death certificates for the years 1921 through 1939. These are free. The release sparked a number of blog posts, including:

Speaking of SeekingMichigan, I found these two other posts this week that were helpful:

Got Swedes? You'll want to check out ArkivDigital's free access weekend here. It's for Saturday and Sunday, March 21st and 22nd only. Check out the Image Database and Swedish Genealogy links in the left-hand margin of that website for information on the various records and tutorials on how to use them.

A Proof Argument? Why Bother? by Elizabeth Shown Mills at QuickTips: The Blog@Evidence Explained - Elizabeth shares why we can't just let the documents do the talking

Librarians Express Concern Over HeritageQuest Changes and Ancestry.com Did Not Buy HeritageQuest by the author of The Ancestry Insider - keeping us up-to-date and addressing concerns about this topic

Advice for Beginning Genealogists by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings - I love this list and will be pointing the beginning genealogists in my classes to it!

And along the same lines for advice for beginning genealogists, Roberta A. Estes writes Eleven Things I Would Do Differently at DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

The Genealogy Blog is Back! by Dana Swiers Huff at Our Family History - first Jasia, and now Dana. I'm so glad to see some "old" geneabloggers back online!

Women's History Month 2015: School Days and "Women" as a Keyword by Gena Philibert Ortega at Gena's Genealogy - I've really been enjoying the Women's History Month 2015 posts Gena's been publishing. If you're having trouble finding your female ancestors, check these out!

Ohio set to open adoption records sealed for 50 years by Jim Provance at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - good news for Ohio adoptees everywhere!

Watch Thousands of Free Movies at Documentary Heaven by Kristin Wong at Lifehacker - a great way to improve your history education to supply background to your ancestors' lives

The Josh Groban episode – the Dutch part by Yvette Hoitink of the DutchGenealogy blog - Yvette researched Josh's Dutch ancestors for the television show, Who Do You Think You Are?

A Clarion Call for Arbitrators: Worldwide Arbitration Event by Spencer Ngatuvai at the FamilySearch Blog - want to help reduce the FamilySearch images awaiting arbitration by two million? Here's how you can help out.

FamilySearch Pilots Web-Based Indexing Extension by Taneya Koonce at Tennessee GenWebProject blog - Taneya explains a brand new Google Chrome extension that can help you with FamilySearch indexing

Excellent digitization at home - a video on Facebook showing how to capture negatives and then convert them to positive images on your computer.

My New Genealogy Follows at Twitter:

@kenyattadb, @CoffeyCousins, @NthHist, @tartanroots, @PaulasFootSteps, @AncestralHearts, @cousin_smith, @njhistorybuff, @AncstryMemories, @JoBengtsonSivly, @LDSElder, @HeritageDetect, @gene_genie_1, @Witnify, @ParishChest, @Eneclann, @LdnMetArchives

Genealogy Facebook Pages I've "Liked":

Follow Me

Check out my websites:

Online Historical Directories 

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday's Tip: Researching Your Deaf Ancestors in U.S. Federal Censuses

The beginning of the sign for "deaf."

March 13 marked the beginning of Deaf History Month 2015, which concludes on April 15. Today, and for the next four weeks, I will be listing tips and strategies for researching your deaf ancestors and relatives in historical records.

Although no one in my immediate family is deaf*, I did have an ancestor, my 4th-great-grandfather Ezra DICKINSON, who had three deaf children out of 12. His biography can be read here. It states: "In 1842, having three children who were [deaf] mutes, he sold his farm in Concord Township [DeKalb County, Indiana] and bought one near Hicksville, Ohio, that his children might have the advantage of the deaf and dumb asylum."

*UPDATE: In 2016, my first grandchild, Theo, was diagnosed at six weeks old as being severely to profoundly hard of hearing, which is technically deaf.  He received cochlear implants at age 13 months.  Genetic testing determined that both my daughter and son-in-law carry a recessive gene called Connexion 26.  If a child receives one gene from a parent, they can be hard of hearing.  If they receive both genes, they will be deaf.  In 2019, my second grandchild, Charlotte, was born.  She also was diagnosed as being severely to profoundly hard of hearing and received cochlear implants at 11 months of age.  My two children and I either do wear or have worn hearing aids, but until my grandchildren were born, we believed our hearing loss was caused by multiple ear infections we all had as children.  We now know we carry the Connexion 26 gene.  It is entirely possible that gene came down the line from the Dickinson family through many generations.  We are becoming a bilingual family, utilizing both American Sign Language and spoken English to communicate.

I've been fortunate to be able to trace this family through the U.S. Federal Censuses, and even more fortunate that our government decided to identify deaf and mute individuals in many of those censuses. In fact, the 1830 census was the first to identify people as deaf and dumb (the archaic term used for mute individuals, whether they were mute genetically, or were mute due to deafness and the inability or lack of opportunity to learn to speak). For the next six censuses, through the mostly destroyed 1890 census, all population registers identified the deaf and/or deaf and dumb. Also, the 1910 and the 2000 censuses identified this group. We will be taking a "walk" through these censuses to determine what can be found about your deaf ancestors and relatives, by using my Dickinson family as an example.


When the 1830 census was taken, Ezra DICKINSON was enumerated in Johnston Township, Trumbull County, Ohio. Only heads of household were named in this census. There were six individuals in the household: three sons, a daughter, and Ezra and his wife, Cynthia.

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On the second page of the census, we see the total number of people in the household (six), plus a one in the column identifying deaf and dumb individuals under the age of 14. This would probably have been son John Fletcher DICKINSON, born 10 May 1825.

If you use Ancestry.com to view these census images, please note that you cannot download the second page of the images, because--as they state--those pages aren't indexed (that seems rather silly to me). I took a screen shot of the above image and used my photo editing software to create a clip for this post. Here is the link to the 1830 census database at Ancestry.

In 1840, Ezra and his family were enumerated in DeKalb Co., Indiana (the township is not given). Four sons and five daughters graced their home. Again, only heads of household were named (here is the link for the 1840 census at Ancestry).

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On the second page of the census, the number 11 shows the total number of people in the household, followed by a 2 representing the number of people in the household engaged in agriculture. Then a 2 and a 1 are given in the columns for deaf and dumb individuals, ages 0-13, and 14-24, respectively. These likely were Harriet Anna DICKINSON (probably born 13 Dec 1839), Thomas Sherman DICKINSON (born November 1835), and John Fletcher DICKINSON, mentioned above.

The 1850 census was the first one in which every individual was named within a household; before this, only heads of households (usually male) were named. In this year, Ezra and his family were in Hicksville, Defiance Co., Ohio, having moved to that state so his deaf children would be eligible to attend the state school for the deaf and dumb. The family had originally lived in Ohio before moving to Indiana, so it wasn't a stretch for them to return and set up life in their former home state. Ezra and Cynthia are shown with seven of their children. Some of the adult children are out of the home, and there may have been children born after this census. Three children of theirs have yet to be identified by name. Cynthia died in 1852.

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As you can see in the far right column, John, Sherman, and Harriet are listed as "Deaf & Dumb." Sherman is specifically enumerated as a student for his occupation while older brother John is farming, and younger sister Harriet, although age 10, does not have a student occupation. Keep this in mind for when we discuss school records from schools for the deaf  in the future.

If you are researching enslaved ancestors in the 1850 and 1860 censuses, they will be identified if deaf-mute. However, they will not be named, but only be identified by gender and approximate age. If you believe your enslaved ancestor was a deaf-mute either from a family story or from identification as a deaf-mute in post-1860 population schedules, this can help narrow down the possibilities of where that ancestor was living and who his or her slave owner was. Slave schedules for 1850 and 1860 can be found here and here, respectively, as separate databases at Ancestry.

In 1860, Ezra, his second wife Hannah "Elizabeth," four of his children, and a step-son were back in Indiana, in Wilmington Township, DeKalb County. Sherman and Harriet are identified as deaf and dumb. John was married to his wife Chloe BATES, also deaf and dumb, and living in Brooks Township, Newaygo Co., Michigan (not shown).

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By 1870, all three deaf children of Ezra were married and living in their own homes with their spouses and children. Here are Sherman and John, living next door to each other in Sheridan Township, Newaygo Co., Michigan. As you can see, Sherman, John, and John's wife Chloe were identified as deaf and dumb. 

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Harriet was living with her husband, James Root, in Mount Pleasant, Cass Co., Nebraska (not shown). Interestingly enough, they had a hired hand living with them who was also deaf and dumb. He does not appear to be related.

If you find your deaf ancestors on the 1880 census, be aware that there is more to look at than just the population schedules. Here are Sherman and his family living in Rock Bluffs, Cass Co., Nebraska, probably to be near sister Harriet's family. The Harriet in his own household is a niece; she is John and Chloe's daughter.

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To the far right of Sherman's name, you can see a 1 in the column identifying deaf and dumb individuals. This information informs you that Sherman's name can be searched in the 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes, which include deaf individuals. This is a separate database at Ancestry. These schedules were additional information gathered regarding "defective" (physically and mentally disabled), dependent (the indigent and orphans), and delinquent (criminal, imprisoned) individuals who were identified in the 1880 population schedule.

When I searched for Sherman in the DDD Schedule, he was enumerated on it on the same page as his siblings and sister-in-law, as all were living in Cass Co., Nebraska. Harriet was living in Rock Bluffs proper, while the rest were living in Rock Bluffs Precinct.

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The DDD schedule listed the individual, where they lived, and whether they were self-supporting, or partly so (the family members we are studying all said "yes" to this question). Then they were asked at which age deafness occurred. Harriet and Sherman said they were deaf from birth, Chloe stated she was 11 months old when she had brain fever (perhaps scarlet fever or meningitis), and John stated he was 2 years old when he had a contusion of the head when falling into a well. That is an interesting story; it does conflict with information given when he entered the Ohio State School for the Deaf, which stated he was deaf from birth. The next question was whether the individual had ever attended an institution for the deaf. All four stated the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus. John added that he had attended the School for the Deaf in Flint, Michigan, which may give us a hint about the family's migration to that state from the Indiana-Ohio region. Next is the number of years in the institution. The final column gives the date of discharge from the school.

The next census to identify the deaf was the 1890 census, which unfortunately was mostly destroyed mainly by water and mold damage as the result of putting out a fire. Neither John, Sherman, nor Harriet lived in a community where the 1890 census remnants are extant. However, for those fortunate enough to find their ancestors on these remnants, the information would be very similar to that which is found on the 1850-1870 censuses.

The last historical census that has been released to the public which identifies deaf individuals is the 1910 census. In this census, only deaf and dumb individuals are identified; those who were deaf (but not dumb) or dumb (but not deaf) were not identified.

I found Harriet living in Ward 7 of Lincoln, Lancaster Co., Nebraska in 1910. In the very last column on the right, you can see "DD" written, for "deaf and dumb."

Since 1910, the only census that has identified deaf individuals is the 2000 census. It will not be released to the public until 2072. Question 16 of that census asks: "Does this person have any of the following long-lasting conditions: a. Blindness, deafness, or a severe vision or hearing impairment?" It is unfortunate that our descendants will not be able to track deaf ancestors for over 90 years (the gap between the 1910 and 2000 censuses).


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Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Finds and Follows: 13 March 2015

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

How Many Photos Is Enough? by Sally Jacobs at The Practical Archivist - Not sure how many photos of something you should keep or toss? A good article to help you with the answer.

Leaving Norway ~ Ole Iversen by Jana Last at Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog - Not only is this interesting, I bookmarked this because my children have several Norwegian lines that I'd like to find migration records for.

How to Maximinze Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service by Eric Ravenscraft at Lifehacker - You can't have enough online backups. Plus, free is always a bonus.

Recording Blood Lines for Our Adopted Family Members by Amie Bowser Tennant at My Kith N Kin - I have a number of family members who were adoptees and I've used this RootsMagic feature for years. Amie shows you how.

DISCOVERY: Slave Name Roll Project by Miss Donna at Diligent Daughter of Slave Ancestry - Miss Donna highlights the Slave Name Roll Project. Did your ancestors own slaves? Please contribute to this database.

Digitizing Genealogy -- Resolution is always an issue by James Tanner of Genealogy's Star - As the hostess of Scanfest, I found this article on scanning resolution interesting and informative.

Infallible Evidence? by Anne Morddel at The French Genealogy Blog - How do we piece together a likely version of the past? As an aside, I noticed that the French custom of recording a birth or death does not differ greatly than the Dutch custom. It's not surprising, considering Napoleon once ruled The Netherlands and set up civil registration.

Fearless Female.... at Generations Gone By - A tribute to a very special mother. Bring your box of Kleenex.

Being a Beginner Again by Barbara Poole at Life from the Roots - A good reminder that no matter how experienced we are in genealogy, every time you move your research into a new area, you're a beginner again."

My New Genealogy Follows at Twitter:

@MadamAncestry, @JohnHouchins, @fh_bristol, @rinnywee@historytreemag, @GenealogyBuzz, @FamilyBrickwall, @ACGSTrees, @starryblackness, @SanfordMisfit, @AncestralHearts, @ancestorpuzzles

Genealogy and History Facebook Pages and Groups I've "Liked" or Joined:
Except for the first item above, I found all these pages and groups through Katherine R. Willson's incredible Genealogy on Facebook list.

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Friday, March 06, 2015

Friday Finds and Follows: 6 March 2015

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

A New Genealogy Website went Online Today: Genealogy Gophers by Dick Eastman at Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter - Dick highlights a new website that searches online historical and genealogical books across the internet.

Tips for Using the Free David Rumsey Historical Maps Website by Diane Haddad at Genealogy Insider - I'm a map lover so I had to bookmark this. Plus, it's always fun to find a good tutorial, even if you're already familiar with the website.

FindMyPast.co.uk Offers a Free Weekend of Research This Weekend, Mar. 6-9, 2015 by LE at MCGG and Let's Talk...Genealogy - If you have British ancestors, you're not going to want to miss this. Also, FindMyPast has a number of American records available as well!

HeritageQuestOnline, Now Powered by Ancestry at The Newberry Library blog - Ancestry is now powering HeritageQuestOnline. Unfortunately, this means the original digitized images have been replaced by Ancestry's. There is a link to tutorials on using the upgraded site on this post.

After 100 years, a public record comes home by Brian Zylstra at From Our Corner (Washington Office of the Secretary of State's blog) - How in the world did the City of Palouse's council meeting minutes end up in a home in Wichita, Kansas?

Who Do You Think You Are? Sweepstakes Begins March 8th, a press release posted by Thomas MacEntee at GeneaBloggers - Even though I don't get TLC, I'm still excited Who Do You Think You Are? is coming back. Check out their sweepstakes!

Using the Swedish Household Clerical Exams by Juliana Szucs at the Ancestry blog - If you have Swedish ancestors (I have one adoptive line), you're going to want to check this out. It's a great annual census-type record.

Sneak Peek at Internet Archive’s New Look by Denise Olson at Moultrie Creek Gazette - I think you'll agree that the new look is quite becoming!

Ohio Adoption File Access Opens on 20 March 2015 by Debbie Mieszala at The Advancing Genealogist - Adoption research is close to my heart, as my very first case was reuniting my paternal grandmother with her biological family. Since then, I've helped, either directly or indirectly, a dozen adoptees connect with their biological families, too. Debbie's post highlights access that is sure to help many adoptees find the answers they seek.

Genealogy Tool – Common genealogical words in eight languages by Christina George at Cristina George Genealogy - Do you have Eastern European ancestors? Then you'll want to check out this cool chart! Even though I don't have any ancestors from these countries, I'm impressed by this great tool.

Another frustrating day at the National Records of Scotland by Chris Paton at The British GENES Blog - Sometimes it seems like rules, regulations, and laws regarding access of records, along with inefficiency of archival methods, conspire against genealogists.

GREAT NEWS: I DID IT!!! by Cari Taplin at Genealogy Pants - Becoming a Certified Genealogist is one of my goals. Cari did it, and I'm so happy for her! Congratulations!

My New Genealogy, History, and Archives Follows at Twitter:

@MichelleGoodrum, @hackgenealogy, @lizl_genealogy@HelenEDTovey, @YourFamTreemag, @LiesaHealy, @rootfinders_gen, @karenmahoney25, @rfgenealogie, @msmemories, @MassObsArchive

Genealogy Facebook Pages I've "Liked":
  • None this week

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Check out my websites:

Online Historical Directories 

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