Sunday, April 11, 2010

New resource to search for donors using yearbooks!!

Last month I was passed along this website, and my life has been so busy that I just now got a chance to take a look at it. This is definitely a keeper.

For anyone who has already used yearbooks in their search, they know that looking through yearbooks is a great way to narrow down a search, and this new resource is fantastic for those who are not in the locale of either where their conception took place or where their donor donated.....or simply cannot afford or find a yearbook(s) from the year(s) their donor was at that school.

It's called E-Yearbook ( and it provides complete coverage of high school and college yearbooks for a select number of institutions across the country (only a couple outside the US though). The cost is $29.95 for a year subscription with unlimited access....or $4.95 per month (but you must subscribe to at least 4 months in advance).

Even on eBay many university yearbooks sell for upwards of $100 or more, so this is an excellent opportunity for many offspring to browse their donor's university yearbook to check for resemblances without breaking the bank.

You can search the site to see what schools are covered as of now, and more are likely to eventually join in the future. For example, for me they do not have coverage of the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta College/Augusta State University, so the likelihood of it being useful for me now is low, but hopefully in the future more schools will join.

If anyone has already used this website or decides to join, please let me/us know of any success!


Stephanie said...

Another avenue I found (at least for university yearbooks) was doing an interlibrary loan through my local library. I would have done that route, but once I thought about the cost of buying the yearbook versus doing the loan...I knew I'd want to keep the yearbook for future reference, so it was worth it for me to just buy it. But it's still a good way to go if possible.

Lindsay said...


I agree, ILL can be used for university students (and for schools that ILL their yearbooks....sometimes those are considered library use only and don't circulate). At least around here our public/local libraries do not have access to university collections, but I'm sure there are places that provide that.

This resource is more readily available to offspring, yet it's still in its infancy. We can only wait and see what it will come to and how useful it will truly be.

kisarita said...

just wondering. can a sperm sample itself be genetically analyzed?

Lindsay said...


Yes - sperm samples can be analyzed. For parents who still have vials of sperm from their donor, those can be analyzed. However, the process renders them useless for inseminations.

But be forewarned.....genetic testing such as Y-chromosome testing, to trace the identity of the donor is a risky business due to the fact that a significant proportion of the population do not carry their ancestral/genetic surname due to adoption, donor conception, infidelity, and adoption by step-parents. Thus, those genetic tests would provide a surname, but it may or may not be the actual surname of the donor!


Anonymous said...

also name changes following immigration

Lindsay said...

Very true, many immigrants changed their names (although it's a misconception that the officials at Ellis Island purposefully changed difficult immigrant names....many chose to do so themselves, usually when they were naturalized).

Which is why one cannot truly use surnames as a way of identifying someone's ethnic makeup. Throughout different eras different immigrant groups chose to change their surnames for fear of prejudices or stigmas in their new home. Others changed their surnames because of the difficulties in pronouncing them, such as many Eastern European names that lack a sizable number of vowels making them troublesome for English native speakers.

However, for those who do not have recent immigrant ancestors, this is not a significant problem as the closest relative matches are between 5 and 10 generations back, and most of those who immigrated before then were of Anglo-Saxon pedigree and didn't need to change or disguise their ancestry for whatever reason.

Over time surnames shift in spellings - but usually that is accounted for easily enough. Heck, in my family in one generation our Armenian surname split into 3 different spellings, with my grandpa's sister's surname spelled different than her two siblings!! However, all three versions are very similar and are very obviously of the same family.