This is difficult and painstaking work. Difficult firstly because records are difficult to locate and navigate. The records that I am currently exploring include the Essex Gaol, Malden Lunatic Asylum and London Lunatic Asylum records. Secondly this research is challenging because mental health in the 1800s is challenging to read and understand.
|The London Lunatic Asylum around 1875 (the Asylum opened in 1870)|
Insane Persons Under Asylum Treatment
The interesting chart below shows the numbers of the so-called "defective class" in Ontario based on the census results from 1842, 1848, 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1881. Notable is the spike in 1871.
Catherine Moynahan: A Review of the Facts
Fact 1: 1871 Census: In the 1871 census Catherine Moynahan (wife of Denis Moynahan) is marked Column 22. Infirmities: unsound mind. Catherine is 58 in 1871 (estimated birth date 1813)
|This is all that I have (so far) |
for Catherine Moynahan (who I believe is my GGG Grandmother)
Fact 3: Death Certificate: Catherine Moynahan died March 10, 1872 at the London Lunatic Asylum. She was 46 years old (born 1826? thus a thirteen year difference fro the 1871 census record). More on the stated cause of death (marasmus) later. I will come to learn that her Asylum Reg. No is 384. (See AO information below)
- J.W. Langmuir made 4 visits to the London Asylum in the year: On January 10 and 11, 1872. (on his October visit, he personally saw and examined every patient in the Asylum).
- There were 487 patients in residence, of which 221 were men and 266 women.
- The female patients were generally clean and neat in their personal appearance and were comfortably clothed
- Nine female patients, who were destructive in their habits, had on the canvas clothing.
- With the exception of a few very noisy and unruly patients in the female refractory ward all the rest were very quiet and orderly.
- The filthy condition in which patients are sometimes sent to Asylums from county gaols was . illustrated in the case of a patient who had just been received. The matter was brought to the notice of the Government, in order that the neglect should be brought to the notice of the local authorities.
|Casebooks, London Psychiatric Hospital, 1877-1885 |
London Psychiatric Hospital patients’ clinical casebooks
Reference Code: RG 10-279 Archives of Ontario
"Early patient records were transcribed by hand into large bound volumes called casebooks. Each patient was assigned a new page in the casebook, in order of admittance. Notes about the patient’s subsequent history were added to the page, which was cross-referenced to a second later page if additional space was needed. "
- RG 10-279 London Psychiatric Hospital patients' clinical casebooks 1867-1906
- RG 10-280 London Psychiatric Hospital patients' clinical case files
- RG 10-281 London Psychiatric Hospital patient registers 1870-1957
- RG 10-282 Records of the Medical Superintendent of the London Psychiatric Hospital (1871-1970)(note: warrants for commitment or transfer of patients, registers of patients' outgoing correspondence, registers of hospital instructions and orders, conference books, physician day books, etc.)
- RG 10-283 Records of the Bursar of the London Psychiatric Hospital 1865-1923
- RG 10-279 Clinical Casebooks Finding aid
- RG 10-283 Records of the Bursar of London Psychiatric Hospital has references to Malden
- RG 10-20-C-4-5 Day Book and Journal, Malden Lunatic Asylum 1 Jul 1865- 31 Oct 1868 (Reel 15)
- MS856 in the AO reading room have:
- RG 10-283 (Formerly RG 10-20-C-4-6 Day Book and Journal, Malden Lunatic Asylum 1 Nov 1868- 30 Dec 1870 (Reel 16)
- RG 22-1871 (Essex County Justice of the Peace, Police Magistrate and County Court Judge's Criminal Court criminal case files) 1871-1883
- RG 22-103 (Essex County Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace minutes 1821-1886)