Quote: Sat 14th 3:26 am
My husband's grandfather's brother went from Sweden to the US in 1892 and nobody ever heard from him again, it was all very sad and they tried to find him through the global Salvation Army. Tonight I discovered through ancestry.com that he was actually a patient at the Gardner State Colony, Mass. According to the census, he was there in 1910, 1920 and 1930. Both me and husband are archivists and historians and we'd like to get more information about this. Are there any records left? Where? Does anybody know? We live in Sweden and know the archives very well here but not in the US. His name was Valentine Bostrom, born in May 1870, Sweden. In 1900 he lived in Suffolk, Boston and worked as a painter and according to the sources, he was a painter in the Gardner State Colony as well. We don't understand how he could have managed to travel to the US all by himself, work and live there for a decade and then end up in a mental institution? Wonder what happened, poor man. If they had known at home they would certainly have tried to go there and get him back home to Sweden. Were the patients free to leave or were they stuck there? We can't find him after 1930, are the US censuses not public after 1930? We can't find any death record for him either at ancestry. Any tip or information will be highly appreciated! What a sad story, I shall try to get some books etc about the institution.