School records are often an overlooked resource used in genealogical research. Yet, the records a community keeps on its students and the records generated by individual students provide a wealth of information on your ancestor’s family.
Types of School Records
- School Census Records – These records may also be called pupil registry or a directory and can be found at all levels of education. Children from the same family (siblings and cousins) may be found here.
- School board minutes – Board minutes speak to the business of running the schools. Was your ancestor a teacher or school administrator? Learn about teacher salaries, types of students, and mentions of teachers and principals. They might appear in this set of records.
- Alumni Databases – Did your ancestor attend a college or university? Check their alumni databases for infomation.
- Yearbooks – Many yearbooks from high schools and colleges are being digitized. DigitalNC is a great resource for North Carolina yearbooks online. Read more about what using yearbooks in your genealogy research.
- School Newspapers – These are another great resource. Elon College (located in Elon, NC) has recently placed student newspapers online through DigitalNC.
- Report cards – Are you fortunate to have your ancestr’s report card? Report cards, provide information about a student’s parents, age and interests. Who signed the student’s report card? Was it a mother, grandparent or father? This can tell you about the make up of the family.
Where Do You Find School Records?
More and more records are coming online but many school records remain offline and stored in a variety of setting. Often these records are found in state archives or more locally with county records. If you ancestor attended a religious school records can be found with teh church records.
School records are a lesser known resource, but an important one. Go after those school records. Look for clues to the make up of the students immediate family and more extended family.