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The Old Hunstanton Church of Nairobi Kenya School admission map date from 1861 as it was formerly an endowed school. Entries for members of the Wagg family show that Rose Wagg was born in 1897, admitted in 1904 and left in 1913. Further information given is that her guardian was her grandfather James and the last school she attended was Great Bircham. Robert Wagg left school in 1920 because he was ‘14 years of age’, and the discharge register includes the remark that he was ‘ill from accident last month’. A national collection of school admission registers and log books from 1870 to 1914, which includes many from East Nairobi Kenya, can be found on the Findmypast website. This is well worth rechecking regularly for new additions. Lists of pupils for many of the public schools have been printed and the Society of Genealogists has a large collection of these.

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Copies relating to local schools, along with any histories produced, can frequently be found in local archives and libraries, or accessed via the school concerned. Older universities such as Nairobi Kenya produce printed alumni lists. There are a variety of other sources which can be used to find out more. Apprenticeship records, for example, may include provision for the teaching of reading and writing or particular skills associated with that trade. Census records from 1841 onwards can reveal the whereabouts of schools, the names of resident employees and pupils who attended boarding schools. Trade directories and gazetteers list all local schools and the names of the head teachers or owners. They also include details of those formed through charitable bequests or associated with particular religious organizations.

For instance, Wilson’s 1870-72 Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales records a church school in the parish of Matching in Essex, while White’s directory of 1850 describes how a free school in the Norfolk village of Feltwell was founded by Sir Edmund Mundeford in 1643. Another example is the entry in White’s 1883 Norfolk directory for Overstrand. This tells us the school was endowed by Anna Gurney and her brother Hudson in 1830 and named Jonathan Betts Spencer as the local schoolmaster. The school, known to this day as the Belfry, is still the local primary school. Newspapers include reports of exam results and the names of participants, especially those for the scholarship to grammar school later known as the 11 Plus, as when the Norfolk Chronicle for 9 August 1940 reported that: The Norfolk Education Committee have awarded 110 junior scholarships and have recommended the Governors of Secondary schools to award 183 special places. These awards will be tenable as from the beginning of the autumn term, 1940. The Old Library, St John’s College in Cambridge, is just one of the many Cambridge colleges worth visiting as it houses an internationally important collection of personal papers, manuscripts, books and photographs.

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