When I was 10 years old, I attended a school that was over 100 years old. The red brick school with several chimneys consisted of one large central room surrounded by several classrooms. We would gather in the central room or line up outside on the concrete courtyard for weekly school assemblies. Our classroom came equipped with old wooden desks complete with inkwells. Our school was so small that we listened to the radio for our music instruction and played sports in a field for physical education. Since we had no cafeteria, you could go home, bring a sack lunch, or order lunch from the store down the street. We ate outside unless it rained, and then we had to eat at our desks.
Compared to the “modern” school I had attended up until that time, it felt like I had stepped back in time to another century. Recently, I found records from that school at the state archive. They even had pupil registers from the year I attended! Reminiscing about school days brings back great memories, but school records can provide abundant genealogical information. School records may include a student’s birth date, parents’ names and occupations, address (if they moved), and a note if a student died during the school year.
Try searching Mid-Continent Public Library’s online catalog using the keywords “school records” to see what the Library has. Findmypast (in-library use only) has an entire collection called School and Education where you can find school records from the United States, Canada, Britain, Ireland, and Australia. The Midwest Genealogy Center even has a school register from a 1942 Chariton County, Missouri, school in one of our archival collections.
As you fill out all the paperwork to enroll your student in school this fall, just think—one day those records may be a great genealogical resource for someone trying to find your family history!
Midwest Genealogy Center
Wow! Great Blog! Thanks so much. I posted it on Facebook because, being a Family History Consultant in my Church, I am trying to activate interest in genealogy. This blog will generate some interest.