Family History Research

Tools for Digging Deeper – School Records

on July 17, 2010

This morning I took another class at the Newberry Library. Grace DuMelle spoke on School Record sources. I picked up a few new tips such as if you are in the Chicago area and had Chicago Public School ancestor graduates, that CPS has lists online. You can go to CPS and register for a free account to access the records. Grace also suggested searching in ProQuest for the Chicago Tribune Historical files. She said the newspapers often printed graduation lists.

In addition, there are many online databases available through Chicago Public Library websites. These are accessible at the libraries and at home, if you have a CPL card. Grace told us if we do not have a CPL card and live in another library system, we can ask about a reciprocal card which then gives us access from home. This is something I will look into next time I am at the Harold Washington Library downtown. The CPL system offers a few databases my suburban library system does not.

After my class I went upstairs to research. I had my first taste of the Sanborn Fire Maps. It was very exciting to learn how to access these from the library and navigate through them. I discovered one of the addresses my Italian families gave, 372 S. Clark, Chicago, was in fact a store. I have a map key to figure out what all the symbols mean on the map I was able to print.  Now I need to find out who owned the store, what kind of store it was, and if it belonged to my family or if it was a contact point for immigrants.

All in all a fantastic day in the city not only for me, but my husband and boys. They were able to check out the Transformers 3 filming on Michigan Avenue. I think the highlight of that was seeing Bumblebee, at least for my four year old twins.

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One response to “Tools for Digging Deeper – School Records

  1. I have copies of the school attendance records of my grandmother and her brothers from the school they attended in Deer Lodge, Montana, in the 1880s. What precious information, yes!! It makes them feel so “alive” to me to read about them, there, then!

    Bill ;-)

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