22 March 2012

Edward Van Damme of Gallaudet College

The NEHGS newsletter mentioned the Gallaudet College's Archives online database.  So I did a search for "Michigan" and included in the results was Edward Louis VanDamme:

Edward Louis VanDamme : B.A., 1882
Description: Insane ; From Michigan 

Person: VanDamme, Edward Louis
Organization: Gallaudet College -- Alumni and alumnae
Class Year: 1882
Original: Index card ; 4 x 6 in.
Place name: United States -- District of Columbia -- Washington
Resource type: Index card
Language: English
Collection: Gallaudet University Alumni Cards, 1866-1959
Rights: Gallaudet University Archives
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Location: Box 5
Date available: 2006-10-25

A distinctive piece of information was that Edward Louis Van Damme was insane.  He was found in the 1900 census at the Eastern Michigan Asylum for the Insane in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan.  There's a notation "D.D." (deaf and dumb) next to his enumeration entry.  He was single and born in 1854 in Michigan of Belgium parents.

In the 1860 census, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, Edward (deaf and dumb) was enumerated with Felix and Maria Van Damme.  The family in 1870.

The Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb listed a dissertation, Liberty and Law, by Edward Louis Van Damme.

Edward's brother, Camille Van Damme, married Mary Wirth, sister of my son-in-law's ancestor, John Wirth.

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