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Helpful Hints

A. Name Search

When searching for names, you may enter either a first or last name, or both using the first initial or name followed by the last. The database is not case sensitive and does not recognize commas or periods. Names have been entered exactly as they are printed in the catalogs. Editorial changes were made when typos or obvious errors were made. In some cases accurate spellings could only be guessed at. For example, Jessie Ailshie was assigned the middle initial of "E" in one catalog and "F" in another. In this case his record reads “Jessie F (E) Ailshie.” (However, you are not able to search using a middle initial or name. For example, a search for "Jessie F" will retrieve anyone whose first name is Jessie and has a last name beginning with "F"). Another helpful example is W Conrad Gass. Positive search results are obtained using “W Gass” or just “Gass.” Negative results will occur searching with “W Conrad Gass,” “Conrad Gass,” “Gass W,” or “Conrad.” Also note where alternate spellings were used, as in the case of “Mae” and “May” or “Frances” and “Francis.”

When searching for a name such as "Park," the database will retrieve anyone with a first or last name containing those letters such as Parks, Parker, Parkey, etc.

When married women appear in the catalogs, they have been identified one of two ways.  When their first name is known, they will appear as Cates (Mrs), Elizabeth Clark.  This will enable you to search by “Cates” or “Elizabeth.”  However, when a first name is not known as in the case of “Mrs J B Brooks,” one would have to search by “Mrs.”  In cases where a first name and maiden name are known as in the case of Mrs. Viola Williams Elder, a sophomore in the summer of 1939, previous information can be found under Viola Williams.

In some cases, a best guess has been made as to whether two identical names are the same person.  Typically years of attendance and level of study will indicate separate identities, but in a case such as Lyle Rankin of Jefferson City, TN (1933-34 Special, 1942-43 Freshman) it is sometimes hard to tell.

B. Years of Attendance

To find out when an individual was at Carson-Newman, you may enter a year between 1856 and 1950. If you want to search by decade, enter the first 3 numbers of the decade in the Year field. For example, to search the 1890's, enter “189".

You may also search by “summer” for any summer school sessions attended. This search will only pull up records where the first year of attendance is listed, such as “Summer 1935.”

C. Course of Study

In most cases the field of study will be listed as Preparatory, Special, Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, or Summer School.  In other cases the discipline will be listed as Voice, Piano, Expression, or as a graduate in that field such as Voice Graduate, Piano Graduate, Expression Graduate, etc.  Where a specific type of degree was earned such as a B.A. or B.S. this has been noted. 

Where multiple degrees or courses were taken in a given year, these will be separated by a “/.”  Each year’s work is separated by commas.  By looking at the years attended (which are also separated by commas) one can determine what a student took or their class designation during that time period.

At times there may appear to be discrepancies in a student’s record. For example, in the case of Elizabeth McMurray, her record shows that in the summer of 1934 she was a freshman, a junior at the end of 1934-35, a senior in the summer of 1935, but then she is listed as a junior for the summer of 1936. The Alumni Directory shows she actually graduated in 1937. These discrepancies are not always explainable but can possibly be typos, etc. within the catalogs.

During World War II Carson-Newman played host to a Navy V-12 officer training program.  The names of those participating were included in the 1943-44 bulletin.  Their course of study is listed as “Apprentice Seaman.”

D. Home Town / County / State

When searching by city, county, or state, simply type the desired city or county name or state abbreviation in the appropriate search box. Only one term may be used though, and not city or county with state abbreviation. For instance, “Jefferson City” or “TN” will yield positive search results but “Jefferson City, TN” will not.

If an individual lived in multiple cities within the same state, their record will show the city mentioned first in the catalogs followed by other cities lived in and separated by a comma. For example, Mollie Lee’s record reads as follows: “Mossy Creek, Knoxville, TN.”

In the case of W M Anderson who lived in multiple states, the first city mentioned (Waco) corresponds to the state listed at the end of the field (KY). (This is due to a feature in the database's original construction). Other cities lived in are listed in between with corresponding states’ abbreviations in parentheses. The record thus reads: “Waco, Mossy Creek (TN), Crab Orchard (KY), KY."

In the case of Tomas Andrew Gross, the catalogs provide more limited information. Listed as being from Birchwood, Tennessee, he is later mentioned as being from Oklahoma with no city or town given. His record reads: "Birchwood, Oklahoma, TN."

If you have any questions or corrections, please contact us at  We hope this will provide an effective reference tool when researching former Carson-Newman students.

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