Tracing Your Ancestors in Lunatic Asylums: A Guide for Family Historians

No reviews Write a Review
Special order - usually ships in 2 to 4 weeks

Media: BOOK - paperback, 208 pages
Author: M. Higgs
Year: 2019
ISBN: 9781526744852
Other: b&w photos, appendixes, useful addresses, bibliog, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

How can you trace forebears who were patients in lunatic asylums and find out about their lives? What sources can you consult to discover their personal histories and gain an insight into their experiences? In this concise, accessible handbook, Michelle Higgs answers these questions. She provides a fascinating introduction to the subject and gives readers the means to explore the records for themselves.

She concentrates on the period from the eighteenth century through to 1948 when the National Health Service was founded and looks in particular at the Victorian era which is the most popular period for research. Using original records, contemporary accounts, photographs, illustrations and case studies of real individuals, she brings the story of the asylums and their patients to life.

Different types of institution are described such as private madhouses, county lunatic asylums, facilities for idiots and imbeciles, and military mental hospitals. Chapters look at the admission procedures and daily routine of patients, plus different kinds of mental illness and how they were treated – for instance, those with depression or mania, criminal lunatics, mothers with puerperal insanity, epileptics and soldiers suffering from shell shock. There are sections on the systems in Scotland and Ireland, as well as England and Wales. Information is provided on all the relevant sources, from wills and the census to casebooks and admission and discharge registers.

Documents and Illustrations
1. Care of the mentally ill before 1800
2. Lunatic asylums of the nineteenth century
3, Twentieth-century mrntal institutions
4. Mental illnesses
5. Inside the asylum
6. The mentally ill in workhouses
7. Criminal lunatcs
8. Asylums for idiots and imbeciles
9. Mental illness in the armed forces
10. Sources
Appendix 1. Terminology in lunatic asylum records
Appendix 2. Useful websites
Appendix 3. Places to visit

This product hasn't received any reviews yet. Be the first to review this product!

Related Products

? Have Questions? Ask an Expert

Tracing Your Ancestors in Lunatic Asylums: A Guide for Family Historians

to top