Do you research school records? I’m not talking about yearbooks. Those can be found on the Yearbooks Page. I’m talking about actual school records, such as enrollment, attendance, and grade reports for example. These are interesting source documents because they might record the student’s age, birth date and location, and possibly their parents’ names. All great ways to find this information if you haven’t found them in other documents about your target ancestor. Besides, finding out your grandmother’s grades would be interesting!
The record collection links, listed below, feature school records from the state, and list collections of records that are available for free online.
If you wish to get educated with some basic information regarding what is available and how to navigate your research for school records, you can read these summaries:
- 5 Quick Tips to Get the Most Out of Education Records
- Top 10 Strategies for Finding School Records for Genealogy
- Getting Started With School Records for Genealogy Research
So, what types of records related to schools are maintained and often available?
- School Census
- School Catalogs
- Teacher’s Registers
- Attendance Records
- Report Cards
- Class Logs
- Teacher Rosters
- School Board Meetings/Reports
- Academic Team and Class Photos
- Local Newspaper Articles:
- Graduation Lists
- School Activities
- School Sports
- Student Newspapers
- Alumni Directories and Publications
- Yearbook Indexes
And, what types of information can you derive from these school records?
- Name (often includes a middle name which is useful).
- Physical Characteristics – color/race, disability.
- Birth Date
- Current Residence Address
- Name of Father
- Name of Mother
- Occupations of parents
- Classes Taken
- Activities (from Photos)
- Date left school (can help with family residence relocation)
Below is a list of links to free online school record collections for the state;
Note: Some of the links go to sites with not much information and some go to sites with an extensive set of records.
Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital.
(Updated February 2020; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Alexandria High Schools, Members of the Senior Classes from 1919-1951
- Charlotte County, Miscellaneous School Records
- College of William and Mary, A provisional list of alumni, grammar school students, members of the board of visitors from 1693 to 1888
- Fredericksburg, School Board Records, 1901-1904
- Grayson County School Records and Photos
- Harrisonburg School Board, Minutes of the Harrisonburg City School Board, 1981-1982
- Nelson County, Superintendent School Records, 1872-1880
- Norfolk, Norfolk Academy Board of Trustees; A trial list of the alumni, revised and corrected to May 15, 1927
- Prince Edward County, Hampden-Sidney College, Alumni and Students who served in World War 1
- Richmond, Chimborazo School Records, 1868-1869
- Richmond, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Virginia) Centennial general catalogue of the trustees, officers, professors and alumni, 1807-1907
- Shenandoah County School Records and Photos
- Surry County, School Records, 1828-1838
- Timberville Graded School : Term 1898-9
- Virginia Military Institute Alphabetical list of graduates of the Virginia Military Institute from 1839 to 1924
- Virginia Military Institute, Roster of Graduates of the 1842-1919 : with brief biographical notes
- Virginia Military Institute, Register of former cadets; memorial edition
- Virginia, Records of the Superintendent of Education, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1870
- VMI Class Registers, Biographies, News Stories
- Washington and Lee University Catalogue of the officers and alumni 1749-1888
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
For other Free Virginia Links, click on the category of interest:
Probate and Wills