Find your ancestors in National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914

What can these records tell me?

Discover your ancestors who went to school in England and Wales between 1870 and 1914. Explore their school records to find their 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.

There are over seven million records available to search from 41 counties in England and Wales: Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Cheshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Durham, Flintshire, Glamorganshire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, and Yorkshire.

Each record comprises a transcript and a colour image of the original register. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:


  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Birth year
  • Birth date
  • Event year (either the year a student was admitted in the admission register or the year an entry was written in the log-book)
  • School name
  • Town
  • County
  • Country
  • Name of parent(s)


The image may contain additional details, including:

  • Admission number
  • Admission date
  • Re-admission date
  • Claim to exemption from religious instruction (if any)
  • Residence
  • Father’s occupation
  • Previous school
  • Reason for leaving previous school
  • Date of leaving previous school
  • Details of any illnesses or other reasons for absence
  • Exam results

Discover more about these records

The National School Admission Registers & Log-books records are the result of a landmark project between schools, record offices and archives in England and Wales. Never before have so many organisations come together to create a digital version of their records. This is an ongoing project to scan and transcribe school admission registers and log-books from around the country. Findmypast would like to acknowledge the significant role played by The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association in conceiving and coordinating this landmark project.

Log-books and admission registers

The difference between log-books and admission registers is that log books don’t contain any information on the student’s birth or admission year; log-books note events or incidents that occurred during the school year. The ‘Remarks/Reasons for Leaving’ field in the admission registers can reveal details of a student’s health problems, as well as other reasons for leaving, which include going to an industrial home or a workhouse, reaching the age limit, dying, moving away, exclusion due to infectious disease or going to a convalescent home. Several have left school to be moved to scattered homes, also known as isolated homes, which placed small groups of orphaned, poor or abandoned children in ordinary houses, in order to save them from workhouses. Schools were clearly less sentimental about their pupils in the 19th century: in one admission register, the stated reason for a pupil leaving is simply “Dead”.

Log-books can make for fascinating reading, with a wide variety of details relating to the running of a school. They can contain lesson plans, details of government examinations, results of examinations with comments, staff lists and detailed results of school inspections of teachers. There are also attendance records and information about school closure due to widespread illness. There are occasionally notes about the academic achievements of individual pupils or entire classes, details of students who entered and left the school, and events such as visits from the rector, half-days or church attendance.

Examples of log entries from Merrow Church of England School, Surrey

The log-book of Merrow reveals much about England in the 19th and early 20th centuries. On 3 June 1907, the log-book reads “All the children excluded on account of diphtheria except one, in hospital, returned to school”. Two days later, it’s noted that “A Clarke is suffering from ringworm”. On Friday 25 January 1884, an entry reads “A serious outbreak of ‘Mumps’ among the children has very much affected the attendance. 25 children absent on Friday from this cause.” And on 16 February 1911, “School closed by order of the Medical Officer of health on account of Measles”. Almost a month later, on 13 March, the school is reopened, with 40 children absent.

These illnesses were more widespread among children before the advent of vaccinations in England. The MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella was introduced to England in 1988. Until vaccination was introduced in 1940, diphtheria was one of the top causes of death in children.

There is continuing mention of “Miss Thrupp” visiting. Miss Thrupp was a busy woman; she is mentioned as visiting the school not once but twice in most log-book entries.

It appears that Friday absenteeism is not a recent phenomenon. On Friday 13 November 1899, an entry notes that “Of late, several children have absented themselves on Friday”.

A number of random notes in the log-book make for interesting reading:

On 18 July 1879: “Commenced the Geography of Ireland. The boys seem to take a great interest in the Geography Albert Watkins is the most backward but he is anxious and persevering.”

On 4 March 1892: J Lynn was “expelled for insubordination”.

On 16 January 1908: “The Constable visited the school and cautioned the children against running before motor-cars”.