Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Philatelic Genealogy

"Postal history vendors and collectors are sharing photographs from their collections with Philgen.org, and are cataloged with key genealogical data and auction catalog references, when available. From the initial 3,000 items seen, 261 were legible, non-commercial, postmarked envelopes and postcards, sent either from Europe to the U.S. or from the U.S. to Europe, from approximately 1850 to 1930," according to an article that appears in American Ancsetors and appears on the Philatelic Genealogy website.

The site has a searchable database of old envelopes and postcards gathered from private collections.

According to the site, "All American genealogists face the question of where an immigrant ancestor lived before coming to America. An old envelope may provide a clue. Old envelopes and postcards can reveal an immigrant ancestor's place of origin, a family's migration after their arrival, or the location of siblings."

Shown above, 1908 envelope from Clinton, Iowa to Obergeis, Germany. Finding a European immigrant's birthplace can be difficult. A return address or a postmark can provide a clue, especially when the sender and addressee have the same family name as seen here.

To visit the Philatelic Genealogy website and database, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM