Examination of life courses of 284 East Flemish deaf people, 1750-1950
People with a disability form an integral part of every society. Nevertheless, we know very little about the experiences and life courses of people with a disability in the past. The DEAF database offers a unique perspective on how 284 congenitally deaf men and women lived their lives in 18th-, 19th- and early 20th-century East Flanders.
Title: Examination of life courses of 284 East Flemish deaf people
Author: Dr. Sofie De Veirman
Population/Subject: deaf people
Region: East Flanders, Belgium
Number of units: 7 600 persons, 300 localities, 630 professions
Number of variables: 250
Formaat: CSV, XLS, XML, PDF
Accessibility: No restrictions on top of the general terms and conditions of use of the Quetelet Center.
Context of the database
What data can you find in this database?
The following information was collected for each deaf research subject (and non-disabled control subject):
Information regarding the parental family to which they belonged (a total of 252 parental households):
- Number of children
- Whether or not the family received poor relief
- Whether there was more than one deaf person in the family
- Name of father and mother
- Occupation of father and mother
- Literacy of father and mother
- Date and place of birth of father and mother
- Date and place of death of father and mother
Information regarding each deaf and non-disabled research subject:
- Date and place of birth
- Birth cohort (1: 1748-1810 and 2:1830-1860)
- Birth order (1: 1748-1810 and 2:1830-1860)
- Date and place of death
- Age at death
- Literacy and education
The names of the two witnesses on the death certificate are also recorded, as are their occupations, residences, ages and relationship to the research subject. The source in which the research subject was identified is also stated.
Information regarding the residences throughout their life course:
Each unique residence is recorded together with the source in which and date on which this residence is mentioned. For each residence, there is a note of the dates on (or between) which the research subject lived at this address (municipality, street name). It is stated whether this residence involves an institution (school or care institution) and whether the subject is resident there at the time. If a subject is a minor when living at this address, this is also indicated.
Information regarding the occupations they engaged in throughout their life course:
Each unique occupational title (including ‘no occupation’ and ‘retired’) was recorded with a reference to the source and date on which this occupation was mentioned. Each occupational title is accompanied by the original description, a contemporary translation and classification into an occupational category (based on Jaspers & Stevens 1985).
Information regarding their own family:
Data recorded for each research subject:
Whether and how many times they were married
- How many children they had, if any
- Whether they received poor relief
If a subject was married, information is given about the date and place of the marriage.
Data recorded for the spouse:
- Date and place of birth
- Whether he/she also had a disability
If the research subject survived his/her partner, the date and place of death of the spouse is also recorded.
For the four marriage witnesses, information is given regarding their:
- Relationship to the research subject
Information regarding the biological children of the research subject:
The database provides information on:
- Date and place of birth
- Place of death
- Date of death (if in the same municipality)
How can you consult data from the database?
The DEAF database is managed by the Quetelet Center. Those who are interested in using the data from this database should submit a reasoned request to the Quetelet Center (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Publications based on DEAF
- De Veirman, Sofie, en Isabelle Devos. “Alle wegen leiden naar een instelling? Institutionaliseringstrajecten van Oost-Vlaamse doven, 1750-1950.” Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 132, no. 2 (2019): 203-230.
- De Veirman Sofie, and Isabelle Devos. “Tussen familie en instelling? Een analyse van de huishoudtrajecten van doven in Oost-Vlaanderen, 1750-1950.” Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Filologie en Geschiedenis/Revue Belge de Philologie et Histoire 95 (2017): 799-832.
- De Veirman, Sofie, and Isabelle Devos. “Tussen familie en instelling? Een analyse van de huishoudtrajecten van doven in Oost-Vlaanderen, 1750-1950”. Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire, 2017.
- De Veirman, Sofie, Helena Haage, and Lotta Vikström. “Deaf and unwanted? Marriage characteristics of deaf people in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Belgium: A comparative and cross-regional approach”. Continuity and Change 31, no.2 (2016): 241–73.
- De Veirman, Sofie. “Deaf and disabled? (Un)Employment of deaf people in Belgium: a comparison of eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century cohorts”. Disability and Society 30, no. 3 (2015): 460–74.
- De Veirman, Sofie. “Breaking the silence. Family ties and social networks of the deaf. A case study of East-Flanders, Belgium, 1750-1950”. History of the Family 20, no. 3 (2015): 446–68.
- De Veirman, Sofie. “Breaking the silence. The experiences of deaf people in East-Flanders, 1750-1950. A life course approach”. PhD diss., Universiteit Gent, 2015.