PAWESTMO-L ArchivesArchiver > PAWESTMO > 2003-09 > 1063514021
From: "Wanda Field" <>
Subject: [PAWESTMO-L] Another Ancestry Quick Tip
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2003 21:33:41 -0700
As a follow up to George Morgan's excellent article on using a variety of directories:
Had the experience of writing to a college requesting information about a collateral relative, a woman who attended there just before the Civil War. I had a very pleasant surprise when they wrote back, not only with information about her, but also with the information that some of her sister's sons had attended as well! One of these was a direct ancestor and I had been unaware that he had attended there for a short time. I don't recall now how the archivist knew to look under more than one surname, as the nephews had a different last name, but I think I must have included some extended family information in my request. Either that or they kept track of alums that were related.
Even nicer, the college had sent out alumni questionnaires over the years, and these folks, and in some cases their descendants once the alum had died, had filled them in and returned them. The college sent me photocopies. This helped me to figure out where some of them had moved, what they were doing and confirmed children. I also wrote and asked about what it would have cost to attend at those times. And I sent a contribution for the aid and to help ensure that the college would continue to keep such information.
Moral of the story:
1. Contact the alumni office or library archives of an educational institution directly and don't stop with alumni directories and yearbooks. Include a contribution above photocopying costs to help maintain or microfilm the archived collection.
2. Fill out your own alumni questionnaires, high school or college, even if you did not make it to graduation, and return them!
3. Consider what it might have meant for those people to achieve that level of schooling. Were they the first in the family to get that far? Was it likely a financial sacrifice? If they didn't finish, are there clues as to why--family responsibilities, a war, a financial depression or panic (The Great Depression wasn't the only one).
Susan Cocker Hopkins
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