Wednesday, September 5, 2012

School Days

     It's that time of year again when the young scholars return to school for more book learning.

     My son started kindergarten yesterday.  I would have posted this yesterday but we went out to dinner to celebrate.  Gregory was so excited and couldn't wait to go to school.  His school day starts at 8:30am and ends at 3:30pm but he can be dropped as early as 7:30am and picked up as late as 4:30pm.  Greg goes to a private school.  He attended this school last year when he was in pre-k and the year before as a pre-schooler.  Greg loves this school so I chose to keep him where he is rather than save my money and send him to public school.  Gregory had a great first day of school in a new classroom with new teachers and new friends.
     I wrote about the schools my ancestors attended in last September's blog post so I won't repeat my stories. This yer I think I will try to get school records.
     My 2nd great-grandmother Teresa's cousin, Anna graduated from a teachers college in New Paltz, NY in 1911 then started working in a one room schoolhouse in Rifton, NY.  Anna worked in this school, The Rock School, for close to 50 years until a new school was built and named in her honor.  The Anna Devine school has a large portrait of Miss Devine on the wall of the main hallway and it is the first thing you see when you walk through the front doors.  I tried getting Anna Devine's school records but had no luck.  Nobody seems to know where the records are located.  She graduated in 1911 so do these records no longer exist?  I'll try again.  I'll make some more phone calls.  Anna Devine was my 2nd great-grandmother's cousin on my maternal grandmother's side.  I had more luck with her father's side of the family.
     My maternal grandmother, Eleanor's father, Samuel Davis was born in OH.  The 1900 U.S. Federal Census shows 15 year old Samuel attending the Lancaster Reform School in Lancaster, OH.  I couldn't believe my eyes so I looked up this school on the internet and was directed to the Ohio Historical Society's website which had a listing of the students.  I ordered a copy of my great-grandfather's school record. This historical society is wonderful.  The record arrived fairly quickly and was accompanied by a history of the school.  I found out that my great-grandfather was admitted to this school for incorrigibility.
     My maternal grandmother attended St. Leonard's Catholic elementary school in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, NY.  I don't know what high school MaMa attended but she had written in her autograph book from 8th grade that she would be attending St. Aloysius.  I haven't confirmed that yet.  I tried getting my grandmother's school records a few years ago but was unsuccessful.  This was before I was really serious about genealogy and before I found out that MaMa was actually born in 1918 and not 1920.  St. Leonard's was closed in the 1970's.  I don't know where the records were sent if they still exist.  I never followed up on my inquiry but now that I'm serious about genealogy I will make phone calls and write letters if necessary. I will track down MaMa's school records if they're out there somewhere.
     I called St. Barbara's, the school that my mother attended for a year after graduating from St. Leonard's before going to Christ the King High School.  The woman who I spoke to at St. Barbara's was very nice and told me that the records for St. Leonard's had been transferred to St. Joseph's.  I called St. Joseph's and told that they only have sacramental records.  I was referred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and given their telephone number.  Why didn't I think of calling the Diocese to begin with?  I had a major headache and wasn't thinking.  I spoke to Mark in the archives department at the Diocese who offered to email a form to fill out and return with a $10. money order or personal check.  My mother is away for a few days so I can't call her with questions about my grandmother's schooling.  Did MaMa go to St. Aloysius as she wrote in her autograph book?  I'll try to find out.
     MaMa's mother, Josephine attended the Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf Mutes on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, NY.  According to the 1900 and 1910 U.S. census records, Josie was a student from the age of 5 until she was a teenager of 16 or 17 years.  This school is no longer in operation in Manhattan.  It is now the Lexington School for the Deaf located in Queens, NY.  I called the school and spoke to a very helpful lady who advised me to email her my name, address, name and birth date of student and my relationship to student.  She told me that she'd look through the old records and mail me a copy.
     and now I wait.....

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