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Schools Contain Genealogy Information

Remember Those Threats About Your Permanent Record?

Even if schools have been consolidated and/or closed, the records have often been maintained somewhere in the community or the broader district.

Is the Old School Still Open and Operating?

Young girl and her doll
A young girl and her dollie around 1929

Depending upon the municipality in which your ancestors lived, the old institutions may still be operating. In that case, it is an easy search to find information about the specific family members who attended.

Local schools can provide a wealth of information about your ancestors. Like much other information you can find if you know where to look, educational records can add a lot of human interest to your ancestors.

It is also possible to find information about members of the family who did not attend, especially parents of students.

Is the Old Building Closed?

If the facility is closed, you may find it fruitful to check with the local library, archives, or historical association. Old records may have been taken over by such an organization dedicated to preserving the past in the area. In that case, you may have to ask around the area to find what is available and where it is located.

If there is no local historical society, archives, or library, or if they do not contain the records, do not give up the hunt yet.

Some university libraries have made it a goal to preserve as much of the local history as possible. In that case, it is not uncommon to find a host of local materials at the nearest university or college. This may include school records, photographs, yearbooks, as well as other local history unrelated to education.

In some areas, when small local buildings closed, the records moved to the new consolidated district. So, do not miss the opportunity to check in the district offices to see if your ancestors' records can be found there.

What Do You Look For in the School Records?

Even though the privacy laws in the old days were not anywhere as strict as they are today, the chances of finding records of family members' grades or discipline records are still very slim.

However, you may find yearbooks detailing the life of the educational experience and its members during the years your ancestor attended.

You may find photographs of a variety of activities such as special assembly programs or graduations in the year.

You may find lists of students and teachers for each grade for each year.

You may find sports team photos and records for the year, as well as sports trophies, pennants, and other mementos.

You may find rosters and photographs of clubs such as the debate club or a language club.

Be a Sleuth Finding Your Family's Educational Records





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And if you ever decide to discontinue, every issue has a form for stopping the newsletter.

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