Ragged Schools: Education for the poor

clip_image002Now sit up straight, no talking, arms folded ……. hands up all those who have ancestors who might have attended a Ragged School? Yes I can see that most of you have your hands up and those who haven’t just have not been attending in history class !!!!!!

If you have poor folk sitting on the branches of your family tree then the chances are some of them attended a ragged school and perhaps learnt enough to sign their names in the parish register when they got married or advanced themselves in life by having had a basic education.

If you happen to live or be visiting London then a trip to the Ragged School Museum might be a worthwhile use of a morning or afternoon. Housed in what was London’s largest Ragged School this family friendly museum offers an experience of what it was like for the East End poor a century & more ago.


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School Records 1499 – 1950’s




   www.familyrelatives.com latest addition to their collection are public school registers dating from 1400.

The announcement says ………………..

New and exclusive to Familyrelatives.com – The most recent additions to our ever expanding collection are the School registers to over 120,000 pupils and masters dating back to 1500.

The list is comprised of major schools which are among the oldest of independent educational establishments in the United Kingdom, such as Sherborne School which was founded in 710 and re-founded in 1550 by Edward VI. The young King, a keen reformer, took an interest in establishing a system of grammar schools through endowments providing free education for the talented poor. The charitable concept of education for scholars of limited means gradually changed over the centuries to that of education for gentlemen entering the military, church and professions.

The registers are fully searchable and provide a useful resource. They are exceptionally well detailed and usually give the surname, father’s name, address, birth date, date of death. School and University education, School sports teams, qualifications or profession, Military service and achievements.



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University of Cambridge Alumni

Online version of the Cambridge Alumni. The introduction says…………

This database is planned to contain biographical details of everyone who has been identified as being academically associated with the University of Cambridge, covering the period approximately from 1200 to 1900.
      In addition to the standard printed sources of information by Venn and Emden, which cover men only, we have added information from Newnham and Girton Colleges so that women are also included.
      The term ‘Alumni’ is used because the great majority of people included are men. Women were not represented in the University until the 1860s, and although they are of course included in this database the awkward ‘Alumni/Alumnae’ has been avoided.

At the bottom of the page is a warning copied below, but it will be a useful database in due course.

At present, the whole system is experimental. Data may alter or disappear without notice. We can accept no responsibility for your use of the system or the data contained here.