Mail Call! Our Ancestors and the Post Office, Part 2 – Resources

On Thursday, I shared some of the information that can be gleaned from our ancestors’ mail and the U.S. Post Office.

Today, we will look at some of the online resources available to help with family history research.

  1. NewspapersChronicling America and websites that have historical newspaper databases may carry Mail Waiting notices. Newspaper notices were common during the 1800s and early 1900s.
  2. Pony ExpressNational Historic Trail (through CA, CO, KS, MO, NE, NV, UT and WY)
  3. National Pony Express Association
  4. The Story of the Pony Express (1860-1861)
  5. Smithsonian National Postal Museum
  6. The Pony Express: History and Myth
  7. U.S., Appointments of U.S. Postmasters, 1832-1971 – Ancestry subscription required to view.
  8. Post Office Records – National Archives
  9. List of Post Offices and Postmasters in the United States, 1870
  10. Google Books and Internet Archive have more links to early post office records and governmental reports.

There are also a number of state, regional and county postal societies:

La Posta: The Journal of American Postal History

Jim Forte Postal History

United States and Worldwide Postal History

Arizona Postal History Foundation

Colorado Postal History Society

Connecticut Postal History

Dakota Postal History Society

Georgia Postal History Society

Hawaii – Post Office in Paradise

Illinois Postal History Society

Massachusetts Postal Research Society

Michigan Postal History

Missouri Postal History Society

New Jersey Postal History Society

Pennsylvania Postal History Society

Rhode Island Postal History Society

Jim Wheat’s Postmaster and Post Offices of Texas, 1846-1930

Western Cover Society

There are most likely other resources to be found online through a more specific locality search.

If I knew an ancestor worked for the post office in a particular area, I think I’d also check the local public library and any nearby historical societies.

Hope you find lots of mail waiting for you!

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