As I've been getting my daughter situated to go back for her second semester at college, I've been thinking about school records. She will be switching majors and switching to the main campus of her university after this next semester, and her records are completely digitized and handled online.
A stark contrast to our ancestors' school records, for sure. A smidgen are online for us to peruse once we know where to look, but many of them are not. So, as with all records, trying to find what entities created the records and thinking about where they might be stored — online and offline — is the first step in trying to find your ancestors in them.
And just why would you want to find your ancestors' school records? Well they can, at the very least, put your ancestors in a time and a place — very helpful when you can't seem to find them in more-used records like the federal population census. And even when you can find them in population census records, where were they in between the censuses since they were only enumerated every 10 years? Another good reason to try and find your ancestors' school records is that they may reveal their parents' names or siblings.
So while not an exhaustive list, the following 11 places may yield school records for your ancestors.
Additional reference links:
Like I mentioned, this is not an exhaustive list, but enough to get you started. Have you found school records for your ancestors? What and where did you find them? Share in comments below.
Another idea is to call the school. I called my grandfather's high school (he graduated in 1916) to see if they had a yearbook. They did not (the public library did). Then the secretary asked me if I wanted his records. They were more than 75 years old and they were ready to throw them out. Yes! So she mailed them. I found out his best subject was penmanship. I wrote about it here: http://seedstotree.blogspot.com/2015/03/george-smarsty-1896-1980-was-grandpa.html
1/18/2016 12:24:03 pm
5/20/2016 06:42:05 pm
Just found this site! have new email address just for genealogical enquiries/interests. Looking forward to more contact.
5/20/2016 10:04:57 pm
Welcome, Meg! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading!
5/20/2016 08:48:22 pm
It was probably in the 1980's when the school district (county) where I worked microfilmed all the "old" school attendance records - back to 1912. Verifying the microfilmed records was very tedious in itself. The original records were shelved and time and time again the microfilmed records were proven to be accurate. They are not in a state archive to my knowledge. So, the county office is another source for genealogists.
5/20/2016 10:06:24 pm
A great suggestion, Becky!
1/27/2018 05:24:17 pm
I found one of my ancestors listed in a "school enumeration" section of a county historical society website. The head of household was listed along with the name and age of my ancestor and her brothers and sisters. The website listed the students by township.
11/27/2020 03:51:14 pm
I'm trying to find out what high school my grandmother attended. All i know is that it was either in Metter Georgia or Savannah. Any advice?
6/22/2021 06:43:26 am
I was visiting a museum in Arkansas and stumbled across a file room. They had a file cabinet labeled school census. I was able to sit there and look through the records for 1944. They're were separated by Black and White students. I was able to find my parents, aunts, and cousins.The forms they were listed on was called 1944 Family Census Blank for Person's Aged 6 to 18. There was a form number (Form 12 1/8 - 350 m-1-44 85024-C-McB.) I took many pictures with my cell phone. I seriously doubt if those files will ever be digitized. I also found my mother in a yearbook. My father is listed as absent.
11/16/2022 12:47:16 pm
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