Timeline of the deaf in Martha’s Vineyard

— Jonathan Lambert, who was not deaf, emigrated to
Martha’s Vineyard from England in late 17th

— two of Lambert’s children were deaf

— the villagers, over the years, intermarried
with each other, thus continuing with the
deaf gene that Lambert, the father, carried.

— at one point, one of every 25 villagers
were deaf.

— because deaf villagers were so common,
everyone learned sign language. It was not

— then for some reason, there were no more
deaf babies being born.

— the last deaf villager passed away in 1950.

— and except for research by historians, everyone
forgot about their deafness heritage!