One of my ancestors was a patient at Herrison Hospital, Dorset, in 1911. Looking at the census records for the hospital, alongside the word "Lunatic" is a number. In his case it is 43, and other patients have various numbers like 66, 28, 61, 30, 86 etc. They are not the patients' ages but does anyone know what these numbers reference? Thank you.

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1 Answer 1


According to www.1911census.org.uk, the information recorded for individuals included:

Infirmity, one of deaf, dumb, blind, lunatic, imbecile or feeble minded. The age at which the "infirmity came on" was also required.

I've cropped out a section from one page of the 1911 census for Herrison Hospital to illustrate this:

Infirmity codes from 1911 census

All of the "codes" in the infirmity column are lower than the number in the corresponding age column. A brief look through other pages suggests that this pattern persists through the data set. So these numbers are likely the age that "infirmity" started or was diagnosed, as stated in the link above.

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