I would just like to add a little to this discussion since I just recently did a little research and found more specifics about Silence Taber.Silence Taber, daughter of Amaziah Taber and Silence Babcock, WAS a deaf-mute.She attended the Central Asylum at Canajoharie in New York, one of two institutions existing in the state at the time for education of the deaf.According to the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb Vol VI, No. IV, dated July 1854, she was admitted in 1828 and had been deaf from birth.It also states that she had a brother, sister, nephew and niece who were deaf.Listed below Silence Taber's name is Samuel A. Taber, admitted 1841 and Silence Taber, admitted 1843.They were each admitted to the school when they were 12 years old and also were deaf from birth.I assume these are the niece and nephew referred to in Silence Taber's entry. Silence Taber attended the school until 1830 when she married another deaf-mute by the name of Aaron McGraw.In some old research notes I have the following information: in The Cayuga Republican dated 6 Jan 1830 states "Married Mr. Aaron McGraw a teacher in deaf and dumb asylum at Canajahorie [NY] to Miss Silence Taber of Scipio Dec 31 by Wing Taber Esq. both of whom are deaf and dumb but educated and exhibit to the public the utility and importance of the extension of education in that class of the community." Silence died the following year 1831.I believe there is an genetic component to the deafness since at least two of the women named Silence were indeed deaf and had been from birth.I was actually surprised at how many other relatives were listed as deaf.All of this, of course, would warrant further research to confirm.