ON THE RECORD
The latest news and data releases
Millions of historic school records have been digitised and uploaded to the web for the first time.
Originally launched in September 2014, the National School Registers collection at findmypast.
co.uk has now been expanded to include material from 16 new regions across England and Wales: Breconshire, Caernarfon, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwent, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire, Suffolk, Sussex and Wrexham.
Also included in the tranche are maritime school records held at the Maritime Archives & Library at National Museums Liverpool, as well as documents for counties previously covered by the collection, including Devon and Middlesex.
Spanning 1870-1914, the collection includes colour images of the original handwritten school admission registers, which can reveal an array of useful details for the family historian, including dates of birth, names of parents and address.
These are complemented by logbooks, which although varying in the level of detail, record daily life at the school. Exploring these can reveal information regarding exam results, visitors and sporting events, providing researchers with additional context to help them understand their ancestors’ school days.
Registers from Gwynedd Archives Service, for example, show that during the Penrhyn Quarry Strike at the turn of the 20th century, a number of children left school to emigrate overseas. According to principal archivist Lynn Francis, some pupils were also removed because their parents believed that the schools had “too many children of strike-breakers”.
Each of the archives and record offices that have supplied documents belong to the National Digitisation Consortium, which was formed in 2009 to make historic material available online through commercial partners.
Supported by The National Archives and the Archives & Records Association, the National School Registers project is the first of its kind, and will conclude with a third and final release in September 2015.
“The National School Registers collection is one of the few resources available to family historians where they can learn about their ancestors’ childhood,” Findmypast family historian Debra Chatfield told Who Do You Think
You Are? Magazine.
“The registers provide crucial factual details, such as date of birth and address, while the logbooks paint a vivid picture of their school life day by day in the run-up to the outbreak of the First World War.”
The logbooks paint a vivid picture of school life in the run-up to WW1
The second release from the National Digitisation Consortium features records from 1,850 schools across England and Wales
A record for Robert Williams, who attended school on board the training ship Indefatigable in Liverpool during the 1870s