I contend that alumni records are part directories, part newspapers and magazines, part biographies, part obituaries, part yearbooks, part vital records, etc. You get the idea. If you are seeking genealogy clues, these “records’ are full of them. All of the information is derivative, but it can provide leads for you to search for original documents. And if you are documenting a person’s family story, well, there’s a ton of that kind of information too.
Take a look at two pages from an Alumni Bulletin from Abbott Academy in Amherst, Massachusetts, from the mid-1960’s. The amount of genealogical and family history information on just this one page is amazing!
(Click to enlarge)
- Alumni directories
- Alumni registers
- Alumni newsletters, bulletins, newspapers, and magazines
- Commencement programs
And what information is available in them?
- Graduation dates and degree(s) received
- Current photos and/or those of their family
- Current address lists
- Where are they now and what are they doing?
- Obituaries and “In Memoriam”
- Children born to the alumnus
- Deaths in their family
- Life achievements and awards
- Interesting stories about the alumnus and their family
The message here is to research these genealogical gold mines. You’ll be glad you did!
Stay Tuned! The Ancestor Hunt is working on links to free collections for alumni related documents and materials.