If you've done any genealogy research with us in recent years, you have probably used our database of obituary listings for ministers and missionaries. But what if you're looking for someone who doesn't fall into either of those categories?
Our colleagues at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester and the Morgan Library of Ohio have created a similar database using college catalogs:
The Student Name Index is an ongoing project directed by Richard P. Morgan of Mentor, Ohio, and hosted by the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester, Massachusetts. The Index is a database that currently contains over 400,000 names of trustees, administrators, board members, examiners, faculty, and students through 1877. The information in the database was compiled from 1,417 eighteenth and nineteenth-century printed catalogues from 128 colleges and schools from 12 states. For a listing of schools indexed, click here.
In addition to listing the names, the Index also uses "context keywords"-- subject words that denote such things as a person's sex, associated activity (e.g., trustee, professor, matron, principal, board of visitors, tutor, librarian, student), subjects taught (ranging from algebra to zoology), students' studies (e.g., law, medical), and class year. In addition, city, state, and country of residence are indexed, as well as degrees (e.g., LL.D, D.D., Esq., A.B., etc.) and honorifics (e.g., Rev., Hon., Gen.).
To access the Index's search page, please click here. Many different types of search results can be found using this database. For instance, a researcher can find a specific person in a class, and also find all his classmates. Another search could reveal a person's progress through the educational system from student to tutor to professor to trustee. Students from Canada, Japan, Africa, India, and other countries can be identified and followed. The diversity of a school's students and administrators can be explored geographically, or by sex, class, studies, and other "context keywords." Names of students and administrators who died during a school year are noted by the term "deceased." Also noted are students who pursued specialized courses or who did not finish a course of study. Each result is linked to its citation so that the information can be verified in the printed sources.
The bulk of their entries so far come from schools in Massachusetts, Ohio, and New York, but they are adding more all the time. You can view the full list of source institutions or go directly to the search page. Who will you find?