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Subscription genealogy site Ancestry.com beefed
up its school yearbook collection to
total 10,000 yearbooks and 60 million records (names), staking a claim to the largest
searchable collection of yearbooks available online.
I like the idea of yearbooks as genealogical resources because of the potential of
finding a photo of an ancestor as a young person, and learning about interests such
as tennis or science (you won’t find that in the census).
Ancestry.com’s collection contains two databases: US School Yearbooks, which already
was on the site; and US School Yearbooks Index, the new additions.
The yearbooks come from military, public, parochial and private high schools, junior
highs, academies, colleges and universities from almost every state. The books date
from 1875 to 1988. Click here to search.
The search can be a bit frustrating. The first and last names you type in won’t necessarily
be near each other on the yearbook pages in your search results, so you’ll get a lot
of irrelevant matches. Adding a place of residence and a birth year or range will
Once you do find somebody, you can page through the book to see if he or she is photographed
or listed elsewhere (such as with the football team or on a “Most Popular” list).
Also try to find yearbooks for other years the person spent at that high school or