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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ancestors Classified Blind or Otherwise in 1880

Share U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes; [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010

How can you determine if your ancestor may be found on the 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes? Look for your ancestor on the 1880 Census. If items 15 through 20 have entries, then it is quite possible they may have been included, and you may learn more about them.

Maria Conant
Maria Conant, born about 1800 in Virginia, was enumerated on the 1880 Census in Cokesbury, South Carolina where she was listed as being blind. This was probably the reason her 13 year old granddaughter, Elizabeth Vance, whose family lived next door, was in the household with Maria.

Since Maria was blind, her name was also transferred to the 1880 Supplemental Schedule 5, for the Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes (for the blind). You can glean a little more information about ancestors who are enumerated on one of these 1880 schedules. As in the case of Maria, her blindness developed from cataracts at the age of 76. At 80 years old in 1880, she could no longer see well enough to take care of herself.

1880 Supplemental Schedules
Below, you will find the blank forms linked to the different ways an ancestor could have been classified in 1880. Use these forms to record your ancestor’s information or to review details that you may learn about your ancestors should they be included on one of the schedules. Your ancestor may have been classified using the terminology of the day:
  • blind (Schedule 5) – blind or semi-blind not including those who could see enough to read
  • deaf-mute (Schedule 4) – cannot hear well enough to learn to speak
  • homeless child (Schedule 6)– “every child found in any institution designed for the care of poor or homeless children, or in any poor-house or other asylum for the destitute”
  • idiot (Schedule 3) – did not develop mentally from infancy or childhood
  • insane (Schedule 2)
  • pauper or indigent person (Schedule 7a)
  • prisoner (Schedule 7)
This collection is searchable on for the following states:
  • Alabama
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington


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