In Episode #56 we take a closer look at school records and what you might find in them. Melissa Barker, otherwise known as The Archive Lady, joins us to discuss researching for our family in these records.

When it comes to genealogical deep-diving, don’t overlook school records. For an ancestor who was born before birth records, academic files may give you clues or facts about birth and parentage (or, at least, a father’s name). 

Even if your ancestor didn’t attend a school in the town in which they lived, these records may hold significant information about your ancestor’s life within the community. You may find that your ancestor was a custodian, school bus driver, or an educator. You could also find the reason why a child was not attending school. There may be documentation about an illness, student’s death, or economic situation that kept a student away from the classroom.

Locating school records can be a challenge. While some districts or parochial schools may have retained old records, many public records are often kept in local and state library archives or special collections. Reaching out to the local librarian or curator of the local historical society could be your best shot.

For more information on locating and accessing these academic records, check out Melissa Barker’s blog, “A Genealogist in the Archives”.

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