What used to be Milledgeville Georgia State Lunatic Asylum is now known
as Central State Hospital. After reading Dr. Peter Cranford's book;
"But for the Grace of God:Milledgeville! The Inside Story of the World's
Largest Insane Asylum" I was a bit depressed at the thought of my grandfather
and other ancestors being tossed into the world of abuse and confusion.
An article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution that ran in October
1997 incensed me to write for my ancestors medical records. This
was no quick task.....
I had to first obtain consent from the Probate Judge in Baldwin County. That was easy, I simply filled out the forms, had them notarized and the consent came a few days later.
I immediately sent the consent to Central State Hospital and waited.......waited....called....and waited. After several follow-up phone calls, I learned that the records are not kept in Baldwin County at all, they are archived in Atlanta. The process takes time, as the employees must search through boxes and boxes of records to find the one requested. In precisely 16 months after my request, I received all that Central State could find pertaining to my grandfather.
Diane McCarty, Liason at Central State, was wonderful in helping me to find the cemetery that my grandfather is buried in. I have been there, but have not located his grave. See article.
In my research of Milledgeville Insane Asylum, I have found several ancestors listed as patients. The asylum wasn't strictly for the mentally ill, many children and adults with illness such as TB, polio, kidney disease, alcoholism,etc. were dropped there as well. Physically handicapped were also in-patients, as well as those who were just plain "unwanted" by family or society.
If you are searching for "lost" ancestors in Georgia at any time between 1843 and the 1950's, it might be a good idea to check Milledgeville.
Brenda Webb 8/30/99