Expands Collection of High School Yearbooks

high school photo Do you remember when you were in high school, and it was time to sign people’s yearbooks? Genealogists can use yearbooks as a resource to learn more about their ancestors. has expanded its collection of yearbooks from the United States. This includes the high school photos of certain celebrities.

Ever wonder what your parents, or grandparents, were like when they were in high school? Genealogists can find out a little bit about that by looking through the pages of their relative’s high school yearbook. You will probably find photos from the high school dances, pictures of the football team in uniform, and small photos of everyone that your ancestor attended school with.

What if you don’t happen to have a copy of your ancestor’s yearbook? In that case, you might want to check and see if happens to have it. The popular genealogy website recently expanded their collection of yearbooks from schools in the United States.

Around 25,000 yearbooks have been added to the yearbook collection at This brings the total amount of yearbooks that genealogists can access through that website to over 35,000. Genealogists can search through 155 million records from various yearbooks that were published between 1884 and 2009.

The collection includes more than just high school yearbooks. There are almost seven million images from thousands of yearbooks that came from high schools, junior high schools, academies, colleges and universities from all across the United States.

The photos can tell genealogists and family historians many things about the fashion of the time that the photo was taken. You might learn something unexpected about your ancestor’s political beliefs when he or she was younger. Clues about this can come from the type of clothing your ancestor was wearing, or from photos that shows that he or she joined a political organization at their school.

Some of the yearbooks in the collection feature photos of celebrities from when the stars were still in school. Some of the “candid shots” in the collection are interesting!

There is one of Jake Gyllenhaal getting “smooched” from a classmate of his when he was in seventh grade. You can also find old photos of Natalie Portman, Derek Jeter, and Jennifer Lopez, (in separate photos, not all posing together). Somewhere in the collection is a photo of Madonna dancing with her high school classmates.

Other photos of celebrities that appear in the yearbook collection include one of Lady Gaga as she made her first communion. There is a photo of a younger Ryan Reynolds, being silly with some classmates, and another of a younger Scarlet Johansson decorating a Christmas tree.

Image by Don O’Brien on Flickr