28 June 2010

Reasons for admission to a Mental Asylum

In family history research, we often find that someone 'vanished'. If a death certificate cannot be found around that time, or if children were raised by someone other than a parent, it is a good idea to check mental asylum records. Reasons for admission included epilepsy, depression (especially post-natal depression), alcoholism, head injury, syphilis, and congenital defects.

Many people spent only a short time in an asylum, and descendants may be unaware of that; so I recommend checking the indexes even if you have no reason to suspect that a person may have been in an asylum.

Names of thousands of patients in Queensland mental asylums (including many people who had previously been in asylums interstate or in the UK) are on my Web site. Most names are from insanity files or asylum case books. To order photocopies of the original records, follow the instructions at the bottom of each page.

(On 6 Nov 2010 I updated this article to show links to two Web sites.)

27 June 2010

UK emigrants at Croydon QLD

A study of hospital admission registers for Croydon (Queensland, Australia) in the late 1880s (during the local gold rush) showed that about two-thirds of the hospital patients were born in the UK or Ireland. Significant numbers also came from the Victorian goldfields and other mining areas. The hospital registers are very useful for family history. See the list of patients' names (about 5,000 of them).
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