Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023
6:30 pm EST
The Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. presents
“Secrets of the Asylum: Norwich State Hospital and My Family.” with Julianne Mangin
Register for Zoom Meeting:
Retired librarian Julianne Mangin was a reluctant genealogist — at first. But after acquiring her ailing mother’s genealogy files, something drew her into the family history. At first, all Mangin meant to do was organize her mother’s files so that they could be stored more compactly. But it wasn’t long before she began noticing errors, omissions, and discrepancies in her mother’s research that cast doubt on the family stories. Thus began her transformation from reluctant genealogist to relentless family historian. She acquired her grandmother’s patient record from Norwich State Hospital, and the secrets just spilled out.
Through her research, Mangin uncovered her French Canadian heritage and delved into the history of the care of the mentally ill in the early 20th century. She learned how poverty and mental illness loomed over the family’s fortunes.
Using patient records, genealogical methods, and DNA testing, Mangin has pieced together a family story that reads like a Dickens novel.