Abby Priscilla Seekell was my 4th Great Aunt on my Father’s side. She was born on June 17, 1853 to Moses Seekell the 3rd and Huldah (Tripp) Seekell. She was the last of 11 children for her Father who had previously been married with two children and 9 children for her mother.
Abby’s half siblings were Mary and Benjamin who died a baby. Her full siblings were Benjamin, Ebenezer, Charles, George, Lydia, William, Lucy and Moses.
Census records are really the only thing I have for Abby. But I am posting about her because I can’t help but wonder what happened to her. She first appears in the Massachusetts State Census of 1855. At the time she was three years old.
She is then in the 1860 Federal Census.
It is in the 1870 Census that I get the first clue of what her life may have been. She is listed as 17 years old and “Idiotic”. Now in today’s society this is not a nice term, but back then a person listed as idiotic was a person “the development of whose mental faculties were arrested in infancy or childhood before coming to maturity.” For us, in a more enlightened age, a number of known disabilities would have fallen under this category, including Downs Syndrome.
She again appears with her mother and sister in the 1880 Census. The first one you see in this census is the column for idiotic, the second and third ones are for can not read and write.
Unfortunately we don’t have the 1890 Census since it was lost in a fire. And this is where her trail ends. Her mother Huldah was still alive until 1893 so I can assume she still lived with her, if she hadn’t already passed on. However, if she did live where did she go? There are no birth records, no death records and I have so far been unable to locate her in a 1900 Census. So my question remains what happened to Abby?