Tuesday, November 27, 2018

School Records: Another Source of Information and Context

Remember when you started elementary school how your parents had to provide information about you, such as full name, date and place of birth, and other details as part of registering you for school? Many schools maintain their records indefinitely, usually in some records retention facility. Registration, grades, yearbooks, and all sorts of other information may still exist. There may even be school census records which were compiled and have been preserved.

Old school desks.
(Royalty-free image from RF123.com) 
If you can determine the location of the school that your ancestor or relative attended, and the county it is/was in, chances are that you may be able to obtain copies of school records. Contact the county school board to determine what years' records might still exist and how you can obtain copies. 

Also, don't overlook colleges and universities that your ancestor attended. Registrars’ offices can be contacted for academic records, and alumni associations may have subsequent addresses that can help trace missing relatives. 

Yearbooks are usually a permanent part of the institution’s library so be sure to check them for details about your ancestors’ extracurricular school activities. Be prepared, however, to provide proof of your relationship in order to gain access to or copies of some of the academic records. And be prepared to pay for the services of pulling records from storage and making copies.

1 comment:

  1. On a trip to Bloomington, IL I visited the Special Archives at Illinois Weslyan University. They were able to retrieve, show me and digitally copy and send to me, the original registration cards on my Grandfather who attended from 1923-1925! The cards contained addresses, parents, the classes he took and grades, tuition/misc costs, etc. What a trove of info they had!