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Postal History

I was reading an article in the Spring edition of the New York Researcher. It talked about philatelic genealogy. This is one research tool that I never gave much thought. Those old postcards and posted envelopes can contain information about locations in relation to military service, work, recreation, and even political interests.

There is a web site, Philgen.org, that offers an archive of envelope and postcard images with genealogical value. Its purpose is to provide postal history available to genealogists by identifying senders and recipients. The images are posted by postcard collectors and may provide important clues for genealogists. Currently there are 1,325  envelopes and postcards and in addition to the image, there is accompanying genealogical information such as U.S. census information or similiar data.

A goal of this site is to eventually to post 20,000 envelopes and postcard photos concerning New York residents. All the images are from postal history vendor web sites and archived philatelic auction catalogs. Take a look!

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Post Cards and Genealogy

In the early 20th Century, personal photographs were often printed on Post Card stock.  Family pictures and personal vacation photos were then sent to friends and family.  I have a number of such Post cards sent by my father's Uncle to his family.  These provide mailing addresses and dates (from postmarks) useful for genealogical purposes, not to mention the record of family vacations and photographs of family members.


Bob Protzmann