Town of Wilmington, Essex County, New York, Transcribed Serial Records, Volume 9: Wilmington School Records, 1822-1900


This volume is the ninth in a series devoted to presenting a transcription of the surviving serial manuscript records for the town of Wilmington, Essex County, New York, in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Mountains. While it is well known that in 1847 the New York legislature passed an “Act for the registry of births, marriages, and deaths” by School District Clerks, it is not widely recognized that schools from 1814 extending into the 1920s, produced School Trustee Annual Reports. The Essex County Clerk’s Office holds a collection of these reports, and the authors have abstracted the collection for the town of Wilmington. Unfortunately, some years are entirely missing (1860-63, 1869-74, 1890), and not all school districts’ reports survive for any given year. Nevertheless, these records are very valuable, both for genealogists and family historians. The earliest reports list “the books most in use in the common schools of said town.” These lists (generally quite short) offer a fascinating window into your ancestor’s education.

For Wilmington, beginning in 1857, the reports list the names of teachers and their terms, and the parent or guardian as well as the number of their children aged four to twenty-one. These children are not necessarily attending school. Then in 1877, the names and ages of all children of school age are added. In 1887, the reports revert to the 1857-1876 format. Then in 1898, children’s names and ages are again added for children five through eighteen. The number of those children who attended public school from October through the first of June is indicated. The 1889, 1891 and 1892 school census provides names of parents or guardians and the number of children of school age. When combined with the 1892 New York state census, these reports can provide a partial substitute for the missing 1890 federal census. A full name index adds to the value of this work.

Harold Hinds, Jr. and Tina Didreckson

2007, 8½x11, paper, index, 384 pp. 

ISBN: 9780788438356