Yearbooks, alumni lists, and other school related records can be rich in details about the people in your family tree.
You can learn what clubs and activities family members took part in, and see photographs from their school years. Some yearbooks even include insights into the student and faculty’s personalities with quotes and comments. Yearbooks typically include individual photographs of the students, as well as activities, group shots, and school events.
- To locate yearbooks and student lists, search for your ancestor’s name, or enter the state or town where they attended school in the "Lived in" field of the search box. If you know the name of the school, you can also try entering all or part of it in the keyword field.
- The largest collection of yearbooks is in the U.S. School Yearbooks Collection which contains elementary school, junior high school, high school, and college and university yearbooks from across the United States. To quickly find yearbooks for a specific city, use the "Browse this collection" feature on the right side of the page to select a state and city.
- When looking at yearbooks, check for an index at the back of the book. Some yearbooks included indexes to every mention of a student’s name. By checking an index, you may find your ancestor in a group photo or listed as part of an organization.
- If you had a teacher in the family, yearbooks can be a great place to look for their photo. High school and university yearbooks typically included photos of staff members.
- Did your family live in the same place for many years? If so, their children may all have attended the same local schools. Check a range of yearbooks, and you may be rewarded with pictures of aunts, uncles, siblings, or cousins.
- If you don’t know which schools your family attended, try searching available Newspapers for the area where they lived. You may find your ancestor mentioned in a list of graduates, or an article about a school play or sporting event.