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Learning About Your Family, With Yearbooks

  • Written by | 4 Comments4 Comments Comments
    Last Updated: April 25th, 2012

    Year Books offer us a great reminder of our days gone by. We can thumb through them before reunions to see who had the big hair, who was destined for sports greatness, and who the chess club elite were. They can also offer us a glimpse into our family history when we view year books our relatives make an appearance in. There are many great ways that year books can help us to research our family tree but can also help us to gain a deeper understanding of those who walked the high school halls before us.

    Who They Used To Be

    Learn Your Family History with YearbooksYearbooks offer us the ability to see a little bit of the type of person that those on our family tree used to be. Whether you are researching your great grandmother or trying to track down a branch of your tree that includes your own parents, the memories left inside of a yearbook can be valuable to your research.

    • You will be able to learn more about the activities, sports, and clubs that your ancestor took part in. This can also help to further lead you down pathways to discovering their activities in university and beyond.
    • You will be able to view ancestor photos, of your ancestors at a time when they may not necessarily have had other photos taken. Photos can be a very important part of any family research project.
    • You may be able to learn who their best friends were and who their high school sweethearts were, which can often be a great lead to finding out additional information from their long-lost friends and sweethearts who may still be around.
    • Many ancestry researchers find that there are often gaps between birth certificate records and marriage license records. Information gleaned from yearbooks can fill in those gaps and help to provide clues to the future.
    • You could even learn a few interesting things about your ancestors that surprise you. Perhaps you could learn that your demure great-grandmother was actually quite the protesting firecracker in her day. You may even learn that your great arm for football and eye for science are something you inherited from your great-grandfather.

    By flipping through high school memories, we can gain a much better insight into what life may have been like for our ancestors. We may notice little things about them that other areas of our research best explain; like the hand-me-down clothing worn by someone who excelled in academics, evidence of a poor upbringing and a focus on education as a way to better their future.

    Finding Their Futures

    Not only will yearbooks give us access to ancestor photos, but they will also be potential goldmines for helping us to track down our ancestors when they moved on from school. There could be clues about the desire to join the military or go to a particular university to seek out an education in medicine. Some have also had great luck finding information detailing scholarships and other academic achievements that they may not have been aware of their ancestors accomplishing.

    Take a journey into the past and seek out the year books your ancestors may make an appearance in. Search by searching records for schools in the area in which they grew up; many now offer their records to the public by placing them online, making your research just that much easier.

    My Ancestry Guide - The Complete Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry

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  1. #1
    June 14th, 2013 at 8:50 pm


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  2. #2
    dania perez
    November 5th, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t get how to use this sight,i want to find my anciesters but I cant can someone please help , thank you:)

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  3. #3
    Juli selvera
    December 6th, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Well it told me that it found one of my ancestors but it said it was unknown

    Post ReplyPost Reply
  4. #4
    Aldebaran Laway
    May 20th, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Well I can’t find my ancestors too. It says “unknown”.

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