Postcards as Sources of Information

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The postcard is a common form of communication even in these modern times. They may contain a great deal of information. For instance, the name and address of the recipient will be on them, and there is usually a date stamp. The correspondence on the card might contain a wealth of information. In addition, names and relationships, locations, and stories about the family can all be of great interest to the researcher.

A post describing the development of the modern postcard may be found in this link about the Detroit Publishing Company. The New York State Library also has a large collection of postcards from donations.

By 1907 postcards featured divided backs, such as the one below. This allowed the sender to write a short message on the card along with the receiver’s address.

This postcard is full of rich information. Notice the timestamp and location. The address of the recipient. And the relationship of uncle to nephew. This postcard helped establish a family line that was missing, by matching details with census records of the period.
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