Researching School Records
School records come in a variety of forms. Newspaper articles and publications often give historical accounts of the school. Reminiscences are often printed in history books, memory books, school histories, and newspaper articles. Through the years, pictures have been taken of classmates, both while attending school and for class reunions. Many times these are printed in newspapers.
Achievements of schools and students are printed in newspapers. In the 19th century newspapers, lists of teachers certified, courses to be taught, lists of students attending school, and much more were published. Within family records, certificates, old grade cards, diplomas, and degrees are saved. These give insight not only to relatives and ancestors but also to the culture of school life during different time periods.
Yearbooks and alumni directories should not be excluded from the list of valuable resources used in genealogy research. Many researchers look for photos of ancestors. Yearbooks have many photos. Also, through yearbooks, researchers discover the activities of their ancestors and relatives. They may have been in sports, drama club, band, glee club, or they may have been known as having the prettiest eyes, most likely to succeed, most athletic, etc.
Alumni directories provide contact information for classmates. Married names, year of graduation, and occupations may be provided. Also, place of residence is given when known. Our department owns the Wooster High School Alumni Directories for 1998, 2003, and 2008. For the College of Wooster, we have the Alumni Directory for 1958.
Current school records are not available to the general public. However, historical school records occasionally surface. These can be a treasure trove of information. The student’s name, age, and parents’ names are often given.
One of the most often used resources in our department is the one-room school house files found with the lateral files. The information on the schoolhouses is organized by township, and each township has its own folder(s). On the front of each folder, the number with its corresponding school name is given.
The school files are incomplete. Some townships have more information than others. Some information includes (1) reunion minutes, notices, and/or photos; (2) class photos published in the newspaper; (3) newspaper articles; (4) map showing location of the schools; (5) school histories; (6) student and teacher records; and (7) photos of the school.
The department owns several other publications on the schools of Wayne County, Ohio. On the college level, in addition to the notebooks on OARDC and the College of Wooster, two books include (1) After 50 Years: Reminiscences of The College of Wooster and (2) Dedication of The University of Wooster and Inauguration of the President, September 7, 1870: Also Annual Report of the Board of Trustees.
Additional information on the College of Wooster can be found in the Special Collections at the library on the College of Wooster’s campus. Also, a listing of the College of Wooster annuals available in the department can be found on the website. High school and the few middle school annuals are listed on the website. All annuals are kept in the locked glass cases in the northeastern quadrant of the department.
High school annuals are not complete. Wooster High School is the most complete, with annuals dating back to the early 1900s. Our department continues to purchase missing annuals when they become available. Also, the department depends on donations to assist with acquiring the missing copies of historical annuals.
Sample Report Cards
Report Card, Summer Term 1887
- After Fifty Years: Reminiscences of The College of Wooster
- A Brief History of Orrville land the Orrville Public Schools, Wayne County, Ohio
- Dedication of The University of Wooster and Inauguration of the President, September 7, 1870: Also Annual Report of the Board of Trustees
- History of Georgetown School
- History of Wayne County High School Football 1899-1998
- History of Wooster High School Basketball 1904-1973
- Memories of Maple Street School: 75th Anniversary Celebration
- On the Corner of Bowman and Quinby: The First 126 Years of Wooster High School, 1869-1994
- Orrville School History
- Smithville Days
- Sugar Creek Township Schools
- Taggart School Memoirs
- Wayne Head Start History 1965-1985
- College of Wooster
- A Partial History of the Dalton Area Schools to 1980
- Wayne County Schools/Wooster City Schools
- Wooster High School/Edgewood Middle School/Nick Amster Workshop & Ida Sue School