To celebrate the start of the new school year, this week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of nearly 2.9 million School Admission Register records from England, Wales, Ireland and Australia. These fascinating new records can allow you a glimpse into your ancestors’ early life, pinpoint the area they grew up in, reveal if they had a perfect attendance or occasionally played truant and can even determine whether they worked in a school as an adult.

National School Admission Registers 1870-1914

 New records from 25 archives and over 3,600 schools from across England have been added to the National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914 collection. The collection was originally launched in September 2014 and now a further 2.7 million records are available to search.  This project was facilitated by the ARA and The National Archives under the National Digitisation Consortium banner and brings together over 100 archives and schools in the largest collaborative digitisation project that there has ever been. A third and final release of school records will take place in September 2015.

The records comprise fully searchable scanned colour images of the original handwritten admission registers and log-books from the archives. Details contained within the log-books from the period leading up to World War One include attendance records, reasons for absence, visitors to the school and the daily activities of school life. The admission registers provide many useful details for family historians, including your ancestor’s birth date, admission year and the school they attended. You may also be able to discover their parents’ names, father’s occupation, exam results and any illnesses that led to absence from school.

Ireland National School Registers

Discover where and when your Irish ancestors went to school by exploring over 142,000 school register records. Ireland National School Registers is the first collection of Irish schools registers to appear online and covers many areas of the country from 1860 to 1920. Further records will be added in time. The records can provide fascinating insights into Ireland’s early multidenominational school system and can even reveal details of your ancestor’s attendance rate and the classes they took.  The Commissioners for National Education, which subsequently became the National Education Board was established in 1831 with the aim of providing a non-denominational education for the poor of Ireland. Special preference was given to schools with a jointly Catholic and Protestant board and children were given a combined “moral and literary” education with religious instruction being kept separate.

The collection contains both transcripts of the original documents and scanned coloured images. The schools covered are generally smaller, more isolated schools or ones that catered to a dwindling faith group that closed long ago and contain a broad mix of religions and backgrounds.

 Surrey, Southwark, St Saviour's Grammar School Admissions 1690-1895

Containing over 3,500 records, Southwark, St Saviour's Grammar School Admissions 1690-1895 consists of over 200 years of admission records dating back to the 17th century, over a century before civil registration and England’s first national census, to find out. St Saviour’s was first established in 1543 from the unification of St Margaret’s and St Mary Magdalen parishes. Early education in grammar schools focused on learning Latin and Greek and the school received its charter from Queen Elizabeth in 1563. On 26 May 1676, a fire rapidly spread through Southwark and burned for 17 hours, killing 20 people, destroyed 500 homes and destroyed St Saviour’s Grammar School. The school was rebuilt and remained on its original site until 1839 before amalgamating with St Olave’s Grammar School in 1896. Today St Olave’s is still amongst England’s top grammar schools.

Coffs Harbour District Schools Index

The Coffs Harbour District Schools Index contains nearly 14,500 transcripts of admission registers from 14 Schools in the Coffs Harbour region of New South Wales. The records can reveal where and when your ancestors received their education and cover a period of 72 years. Some of the schools represented in these records no longer exist while others are still functioning. The available dates range from 1912 to 1984 with a thirty year exclusion period as recommended by the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities. The index was developed by the Coffs Harbour District Family History Society.


Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.