If your ancestor was committed to a state hospital or institution, determine what court was responsible for such determinations. The records of the state hospital or institutions may be closed for public viewing or even not extant. The local court records of committal may be a matter of public record–or they may not.

The specific court that may have institutionalized your ancestor can vary from one state to another and from one time period to another. Reach out to those with experience in the area, local historical or genealogical societies, local libraries, etc. to see if they know which court heard this type of case during the time period in which you have an interest.

It may also be possible that a guardian or conservator may have been appointed for your ancestor as well–again, most likely by a local court.



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