School Life

As you add details about relatives in your family, one often overlook resources about students, their teachers and school activities are the local hometown newspapers. Most medium to small towns always included information about events in the local school, especially during major events, such as the start of the school year, football games, parades, the band, Halloween, Christmas, graduation, etc.

Not only locating some details about school events when your ancestors attended, but you might also find some specific mention of that relative – if they performed in the band, won an award, made a touchdown in football, etc.  

How exciting that would be to locate some details about that relative’s time as a student. Now all locations placed articles in the local newspapers about the school events, but most did. Many students did not graduate high school but may have gone to 9th or 10th grade and still could have been mentioned or articles were written about events of the school they attended.

Good example are the thousands of Halloween carnivals put on by schools for students from the 1920s through the 1970s. Figure based on an ancestor’s birth year when they would have been in grades 4th to 8th – the most likely time frame to learn of events they could have been a part of as an elementary student. 

If you find in the newspaper a photo of the school or of certain classes, even better. You never know what might turn up. Do also check with the town or county museum to see if they have photos of the school your ancestor attended.

Any information about a relative’s school life and times really adds to the family history. 

Photos: Mrs. Dora Lowery’s 2nd grade classroom December 1947; article from Dec. 1935 of a school annual banquet and who attended; article from Jan. 1937 of a school play and the student actors; and 1963 profile done of the high school’s cheerleaders.

Related Blogs:

Back to School for Your Ancestors

Newspaper Details

Locate Family Information

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