Sometimes all you have to do is start talking about your genealogy in order to discover records. Family members inherit family bibles, vital records and various certificates that you never knew they had.
A while ago I was talking with my mother about her grandmother, Ruth Kynaston. As we began to talk my mom said she had all sorts of records pertaining to Ruth. One of those documents is her high school diploma.
Back in that time period many people did not finish high school. In fact, many people only made it to the 8th grade and then dropped out of school because they needed to help on the farm or with other family matters. In 1940 only 28.1% of 19 year old young adults had finished all four years of high school. (1) If I remember right, Ruth was the only one of twelve children who completed high school.
Below is a copy of Ruth's high school graduation program. She was only one of 16 graduates in 1937 from North Gem High School in Bancroft, Idaho.
I never would have known about Ruth's diploma or graduation program had I never started talking with my mom about her. You never know what treasures your family members may have in their possession, so you better start those conversations about your genealogy before it may be too late.
1. United States, Census Bureau, Population 5 to 24 years old attending school, by years of school completed, single years of age, and sex, for the United States: 1940; digital image, “Educational Characteristics of the Population of the United States, By Age: 1940 - Detailed Tables,” Education, United States Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/1946/p19-4/tab-02.pdf), accessed December 2014.
A.C. Ivory is a professional genealogist, blogger, product manager, ux designer, computer geek, and traveler.