Looking for where your dead relatives lived? Start at the Post Office!
Much of America was rural until the years before World War II, and overwhelmingly rural before World War I. Many people’s addresses were listed by the location of their nearest post office. Actual home delivery was rare before 1863, when it started in cities, and rural home delivery only began on a limited basis in 1896.
Rural locations — no actual town often existed for the post office to be located in. It was routine for the post office to be in someone’s home or store. Each post office did have a location name, and people used that because mail was usually sent to the post office for pickup. Pickup notices would be published in newspapers: “Mail awaits Bill Golden at Saluda, SC”.
>>> If you find that a relative is listed as living at ___ and you can’t find such a town then it is probably just the post office that you are looking for before 1900.
FREE BOOK DOWNLOAD: Tremayne’s master guide to all the post offices that existed in 1850.
HISTORY of U.S. Post Office and its services.
You are welcome to add to or to correct this story by contacting: Bill Golden, Norfolk1956@gmail.com
BTW – I look forward to sharing your stories, photos and in-search-of quests. Contact me at the email address above.