I never imagined it possible to find records related to the education of ancestors dating back to the 19th century. But thanks to one of my favourite Canadian history websites, Our Roots, that is what I have basically discovered.
Our Roots was developed as a collaboration by colleges , universities, and archives across Canada to put Canada’s local histories online. Containing local history works in both French and English, the site describes itself as “a library, archive, museum and school all in one.”
A site search lead me to the book, Berlin Collegiate and Technical Institute – Historical Sketch and Calendar of Pupils 1855 – 1904, published, it appears, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the high school. Although the Head Masters over that fifty year period were described as visionary educators, I suspect the school was likely a stern and disciplined environment for the teen-aged students over the period the ‘calendar’ covers.
Student marks are not provided but the book lists all students by year of entry into the high school. By reviewing the full calendar of students, I found the following ancestors of Ellen’s listed (their relationship to Ellen noted in parentheses):
1869 – Louis Jacob Breithaupt (first cousin, three times removed)
1871 – William Henry Breithaupt (first cousin, three times removed)
Louis Henry Wagner (great grandfather)
1876 – John Cristian Breithaupt (first cousin, three times removed)
1880 – Melvina Breithaupt (first cousin, three times removed)
1881 – Ezra Carl Breithaupt (first cousin, three times removed)
1886 – Albert Liborius Breithaupt (first cousin, three times removed)
1889 – Herbert Leslie Staebler (first cousin, two times removed)
1902 – Louis Jacob Gordon Wagner (grandfather)
1904 – Rose Breithaupt (second cousin, two times removed and founder with her husband Spencer Clark of the Guild Inn)
Unfortunately, the book doesn’t contain confirmation of graduation but it still nice to find documentation verifying their education, up to 150 years ago.