Week 33: Defective, Dependent & Delinquent: Alfred Wombwell

Week 33 (August 13-19) – Defective, Dependent, & Delinquent: In 1880, there was a special census schedule for “Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes” — the blind, deaf, paupers, homeless children, prisoners, insane, and idiotic. Do you have someone in your family tree who would have been classified as such? (To learn more about the special 1880 schedule, see my post, “Do You Have a Defective Ancestor?“)

So far behind…. I am the delinquent here!

I searched the 1880 census for the ancestor that was enumerated on this schedule but did not find one.  So, looking at the purpose of the schedule I looked for someone who maybe should have been.  The two I had come up with I’ve already written about in previous posts.

Winfield Richards was half-blind due to a an accident that had occurred in his youth.  His brother, Augustus, had shot an arrow that had struck Winfield in or around his left eye, causing him to loose sight in that eye.

Alfred Wombwell is enumerated with his family in 1880.  Four years later, in 1884, Alfred died at the Monroe County Insane Asylum in Rochester, NY.  The circumstances surrounding his ending up at the asylum are unknown, however, cause of death listed is “paresis”  General paresis is a problem with mental function due to damage to the brain from untreated syphilis.  It generally occurs 15-20 years after infection.  While extremely rare today, it was much more common in the late nineteenth century.[1]

[1] https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000748.htm


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