Subscription genealogy website Ancestry.com has added many states’ 1880 special census schedules of defective, dependent and delinquent” classes, also known as DDD schedules.
You’ll know to look for your ancestor in DDD schedules if his 1880 US census listing has a mark in columns 15 through 20, showing whether he was ill or had a physical or mental disability. If so, DDD schedules might give you more information about his condition or reasons for being institutionalized. (Learn more about this and other special censuses in the July 2009 Family Tree Magazine).
Surviving DDD records are scattered among libraries and state archives. (See Family Tree Magazine‘s downloadable, state-by-state guide to finding DDD records.)
But now you can search many of the records from home: Ancestry.com subscribers can search DDD schedules from California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington Territory.