APG-L Archives

Archiver > APG > 2008-12 > 1228270111

From: "Barbara Schenck" <>
Subject: [APG] Mental hospitals and records
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2008 20:08:31 -0600

References to asylum records can turn up in very odd places.

About 10 years ago my son bought a house and in the abstract we found
records of a lengthy stay in an out-of-state mental asylum of one of the
heirs to the property. When a previous owner died intestate, the house went
to several people who were equal heirs under law. As one was
institutionalized, there were letters from doctors about the patient's
condition, diagnosis, etc., a request for a guardian ad litum to act on the
patient's behalf, the judge's decision on that request, followed by lots of
family history as the discussion about who had a right to do what was all
incorporated into the abstract.

I have often wondered if there was a genealogist stuck trying to sort out
that family somewhere. He or she would likely have no idea of the gold mine
of information that exists in the pages of that property abstract!

Barbara Schenck

> Check the courthouse. They often keep a copy of the admission records,
> which can contain quite a bit of detail. That doesn't replace the Asylum
> records, but I have had good success getting detailed information from the
> admission record and court file packet, including guardianship records for
> the admitted, and death details for the same.

This thread: