Saturday, October 4, 2008

1 Lunatic Inquest Book - Lyon County Kentucky

I finally made it to the genealogical library today to use their microfilm reader. I had purchased the microfilm of the LYON COUNTY KENTUCKY LUNATIC INQUEST RECORDS FROM 1887 TO 1910. My new project is to transcribe the records on this reel of microfilm.

Information from the initial page of the roll:
Lyon County, KY
County Clerk
Eddyville, Kentucky 42038
Lunatic Inquest Book
Roll #7025267

I plan to do one record a night [this microfilm is VERY hard to read]. The information for each person is covered in two pages.

The first page lists:
1. The name of the attorney and the name of his [I used "his", as I haven't seen a female attorney for this period of Kentucky history in this county] client, who is supposed to be of "unsound mind".
2. The name of the court attorney.
3. The names of the jurors
4. The findings of the jury.
5. The following information on the person of "unsound mind":
- place of birth,
- place of residence,
- age,
- a statement that the person was not brought to Kentucky for the purpose of becoming a charge upon the Commonwealth,
- whether he/she owns property,
- whether his/her father is alive or dead,
- whether his/her mother is alive or dead
- if the parents are alive where they live and if they have an estate sufficient to support the person under trial
- a statement that the person on trial is not capable of laboring either in whole or in part for his/her support.
6. The signatures of each juror
7. The courts decision as to "unsound mind" and where the person is to be sent.
8. Name of the person who is to convey the person of "unsound mind" to the asylum and how many guards are needed.
9. The signature of the judge.

The second page gives the answers to the following questions:

1.(a) Age
(b) Occupation
(c) Married or Single
(d) Habits
(e) Educated
2.(a) What relations have been insane
3.(a) Date of first attack
(b) How exhibited
(c) Has it changed in character at any any former period
4.(a) Supposed cause
(b) Any peculiar illusions and what
(c) Subject to fits. How long
From what cause
(d) Natural Temper
5.(a) Attempt at suicide
(b) Violence toward others
6.Periodic frenzy
7.(a) Restraint imposed
(b) Treatment used
8. Injury about head
9. This is a blank section which is usually signed by the clerk.

I became interested in these records after finding my great-grandfather listed as an inmate/patient in the asylum in Hopkinsville Kentucky. I wanted to find out why he was there. I've blogged on this previously. I wrote for records from the hospital, but they couldn't tell me about the actual commitment. This led me to the Inquest Book. I hope these are of genealogical use to someone, and of interest to many.

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