I have not written for several weeks, but this topic was one I found very interesting. I like to find every bit of information about my ancestors that I can, so generally I enjoy looking at the non-population schedules for the United States census. However, with a title like “1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes,” do I really want to find my ancestor listed there? Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to see cousins or ancestor's siblings, but someone in my direct line?
But I did find someone there in the Lane County Oregon section. Although the census taker marked him in the wrong precinct, it was my 3rd gt-grandfather, William L. England. His name appeared in two sections: Deaf-Mutes and Blind.
I should have expected that since he was marked as blind and deaf on the population schedule for 1880 where he was living with his daughter and her family. Besides that, his obituary in September 1893 stated “although for several years he has been without use of eyesight or hearing he lived a happy Christian life to the end.”
Then as I thought about this, I realized that for at least 13 years William had been blind and deaf. It must have been hard for the family to communicate with him. I wonder what methods they used. I expect I will never know.