Classics in the History of Psychology

An internet resource developed by
Christopher D. Green
York University, Toronto, Ontario

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The Kallikak Family:
A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness

Henry Herbert Goddard (1913)

Director of the Research Laboratory of the Training School
at Vineland, New Jersey, for Feeble-minded Girls and Boys


CHART I shows the line of descent of the Kallikak family from their first colonial ancestor. It was Martin who divided it into a bad branch on one hand and a good branch on the other. Each of these branches is traced through the line of the eldest son down to a person of the present generation. On the bad side it ends with Deborah Kallikak, an inmate of the Training School at Vineland, on the good side with the son of a prominent and wealthy citizen of the same family name, now resident of another State.

Chart II shows the children of Martin Sr. by his wife and by the nameless feeble-minded girl, and also the children of Martin Jr.

Then follow Charts III to IX and A to K, giving in detail each of these two branches, the upper series being the normal family, the descendants of Martin Kallikak Sr. through his wife : the lower is the bad family, his descendants through the nameless feeble-minded girl who was not his wife. [p. 34]


Individuals are represented by squares and circles, the squares being males, the circles, females. Black squares and circles (with a white "F") mean feeble-minded individuals; N means normal persons.

The clear squares or circles indicate that the mentality of the person is undetermined.

"d. inf." means died in infancy.

A horizontal or slightly oblique line connects persons who are mated. Unless otherwise indicated, they are supposed to have been legally married.

The symbols dependent from the same horizontal line are for brothers and sisters.

A vertical line connecting this horizontal line with an individual or with a line connecting two individuals, indicates the parent or parents of the fraternity.

Letters placed around the symbol for an individual are as follows: A -- Alcoholic, meaning decidedly intemperate, a drunkard; B -- Blind; C -- Criminalistic; D -- Deaf ; E -- Epileptic; I -- Insane; Sy -- Syphilitic ; Sx -- Sexually immoral; T -- Tuberculous.

A short vertical line dependent from the horizontal fraternity line indicates a child whose sex is unknown. An F at the end of the line indicates that such child was feeble-minded. [p. 35]

N? or F? indicates that the individual has not been definitely determined, but, considering all the data, it is concluded that on the whole, the person was probably normal or feeble-minded, as the letter signifies.

A small d. followed by a numeral means died at that age; b. means born, usually followed by the date.

A single figure below a symbol indicates that the symbol stands for more than one individual -- the number denoted by the figure, e.g. a circle with a "4" below it, indicates that there were four girls in that fraternity, represented by that one symbol.

The Hand indicates the child that is in the Institution at Vineland, whose family history is the subject of the chart.

A black horizontal line under a symbol indicates that that individual was in some public institution at state expense.

The fact that the parents were not married is indicated either by the expression "unmarried" or by the word "illegitimate," placed near the symbol for the child.

[p. 35]

Chart I [Line of descent from Caspar to Deborah]

Chart II [Martin Sr.'s children and grandchildren]

Charts A, B, III [Descendents of Frederick, of Myriam, and of Nathan]

Charts C, IV-A [Descendents of Susan, Relatives of Gus Saunders]

Charts D, IV-B [Descendents of Elizabeth and of "Old Sal"]

Charts E, V-A [Descendents of Jemima]

Charts F, V-B, VI [Descendents of "Old Moll"]

Charts G, VII [Descendents of Sylvia]

Charts H, VIII [Descendent of Amy]

Charts I, IX-A [Descendents of Millard]

Charts J, IX-B [Descendents of Millard]

Charts K, IX-C [Descendents of Millard]

Chart IX-D [Descendents of Millard]

Chart IX-E [Descendents of Millard]