School records can be a valuable source of information providing details about an ancestor from a specific time in their lives. These can include:
- Attendance Records
- Enrollment forms
- Fraternity or sorority documents
- Homework projects/reports
- Honour Rolls
- Report cards
- School photographs
- Student newspapers
- Yearbooks and annuals
Documents such as enrollment records can be a good secondary source of birth information. Report cards may include parent’s names and signatures. Yearbooks include information and photographs of students and teachers and may also include notes about your ancestor written by other classmates.
School records can often be found with other family papers and records. Archives, local libraries and historical societies commonly have information related to the history of schools in the area as well as copies of yearbooks. Many universities and colleges have special collections which include a wealth of information such as admission and registration documents as well as details regarding courses of study, graduation, thesis papers and biographies or histories of former students. Alumni directories will often list the names and locations of administrative offices where additional information regarding school records can be found. Some alumni directories may also include personal information and work history.
All of the elementary and secondary public schools located in both Wellington and Dufferin Counties along with those in the City of Guelph came under the jurisdiction of the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) as of 1998. Registers and Board minutes for the UGDSB and its predecessors (the Boards of Education for the City of Guelph and Guelph Township; Wellington County Board of Education and the Dufferin Board of Education) were transferred to the Wellington County Museum and Archives and the Guelph Public Library Archives in 2002. The records of all elementary and secondary Roman Catholic schools located in Wellington County and the City of Guelph are held by the Wellington Catholic District School Board.
To access school records, contact the Wellington County Museum and Archives or the Guelph Public Library Archives or the Records Managers at the boards:
- Upper Grand District School Board, 500 Victoria Rd. N. Guelph, ON N1E 6K2, Phone 519-822-4420
- Wellington Catholic District School Board, 75 Woolwich St. P. O. Box 11298, Guelph ON N1H 6N6, phone: 519-821-4600 | website
The Archives of Ontario also has a large collection of Ontario elementary and secondary student and teacher records. For information on these holdings see the Archives of Ontario Research Guide 216.