Using School Registers in your research.

The County Class Record Book

It’s back to school in our house – my children have ipads, there is a school app which we can use to make payments and read school news. I imagine that the paper trail that children leave in schools, as everywhere else in life, is rapidly dwindling. I doubt that their names have been entered in a large leather bound register. School registers are always welcome to genealogists and a number of these have survived from the 19th and early 20th century and the majority are held in the National Archives and some have been digitised and indexed by findmypast. They cover many parts of the country and date from 1860 to 1922. You can glean varying amounts of information from each register, here are a few samples:

James Aiken of Drumherrive, the son of a farmer, was born 23rd of July 1894; he was Presbyterian and had previously attended a school in Brownknowe before enrolling in Glenalla school in county Donegal.

Columba Cahill of 19 Ormond quay, the son of a clerk, was born 3rd October 1913; he was Roman Catholic. He attended St. Brigid’s school, Dublin, from 1920 to 1922.

Polly Prudence and her sister Bella Jane of Shandrum, aged 8 and 6 years respectively; they were Established Church [Church of Ireland], the daughters of a rector and attended Shandrum school in county Cork in 1882.

If you want to learn more about the actual schools, the salary books, application for grants and volumes also confusingly ‘Register Books’ but which as the National Archives website:

describes as ‘primarily minute books of all proceedings taken in connection with each school’, are all held at the National Archives.

By Helen Moss

Helen Moss

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