What’s Football Got To Do With Genealogy?

If you have an ancestor or relative who played on a sports team while in high school or college, a video about their athletic activities can catch the attention of current sports fans in the family. Click on the image to see the video I made about my family’s Georgia Tech football player, Albert “Red” Davis, who became a “Ramblin’ Wreck” in the 1920s.

Click image to view video

Check college or high school archives for yearbooks, student newspaper articles, alumni publications and photograph collections that may have images and information about your athletic ancestor’s sports activities and participation in other organizations. Check archives for the local town newspaper for coverage of college and high school sports events.

Images published before 1923 (in the United States) are in the public domain, but always remember to cite the source. For images published in 1923 or later, request permission from the repository to use the images in your video.

The school fight song makes for a great music track to go along with the images. While putting together the video about my uncle, I discovered a free downloadable MP3 audio file of Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech performed by the Georgia Tech marching band at swag.gatech.edu.

The Georgia Tech swag site allows downloads for personal, non-commercial use. Try searching on “fight song” or the title of a school’s fight song if you know it, combined with the school name to find similar music files. Always check for copyright information and permission to use the recording.


You can see where I found some of the images for my video in the FREE eBooklet No Pictures? No Problem! 7 Great Sites for Finding Photos From Your Ancestor’s World. Click on the book cover above or click here to request your FREE eBooklet.

Make a touchdown with your family by making an ancestor story video that gets them cheering for their family history. Click here to get started.

Image Credits:

“Football — Games/Action,” Georgia Tech History Digital Portal, accessed September 21, 2016, http://history.library.gatech.edu/items/show/13629.

Artist Unknown. “Lithograph of the Georgia School of Technology Campus, Aerial View.” Georgia Tech History Digital Portal. Accessed August 31, 2016, http://history.library.gatech.edu/items/show/1128.

Underwood & Underwood, photographer. [Woman With Headphones
 Listening to Radio]. [Between Ca. and Ca. 1930, 1920] Image. Retrieved from
 the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2012649424. (Accessed
 May 29, 2016.)

Originally published at VideoGenealogy.com.