How have I missed this??? Betty and Edward Henderson were two of great-great-great-great-grandfather James Henderson‘s younger children. Each appeared in a single census record — Betty as a three year-old in 1870, and Eddie as a six year-old in 1880.
1870 federal population schedule, Faison, Duplin County, North Carolina.
1880 federal population schedule, Faison, Duplin County, North Carolina.
I have just noticed that both were described, in the unfortunate parlance of the day, as “idiotic.” The word did not mean then, as it connotes today, “stupid” or “foolish.” Rather, it was a medical term designating a person with severe intellectual disabilities. What condition affected these children? A congenital defect? An environmental deficiency?
It is impossible to know. Neither Betty nor Edward seems to have lived to adulthood, and I honor their brief lives here.