When is the last time you sent a postcard? Years ago every time someone went on vacation they sent postcards to their loved ones back home. Postcards have changed over the years. If you would like more details on the timeline and design of postcards, see "A History of Picture Postcards" (http://www.co.seneca.ny.us/history/Postcards%20History.pdf). Postcards are still around, but it seems to me that now people would rather upload their digital photographs and e-mail shots of their travels than take the time to buy a postcard, find a stamp and locate a mailbox.
- Schools and universities
- Churches and synagogues
- Court houses and town halls
- War memorials
- Local businesses
Postcards of this type will help you identify the names of churches where your ancestors may have worshipped, schools where they were educated and hospitals where they were born or died. A monument honoring war veterans just might contain the name of someone from your family tree.
- Scenic vistas (rivers, beaches, waterfalls, mountains)
- Street scenes
- Libraries and museums
It is wonderful to find dates of births and deaths, but I want to envision the world of my family. My Welsh ancestors resided in Utica, New York, and had a business on Bleecker Street. This postcard entitled “Bleecker Street from Busy Corner, Utica, New York” shows an early 20th century picture with horse-drawn carriages and women wearing long dresses. This was the environment of my grandparents and my grand aunts and uncles. The postcard gives me a sense of what my ancestors saw and what life was like for them. I keep the postcard in an acid-free sleeve in my Williams surname binder.