Postcards are fantastic glimpses into the past.  Besides being enjoyable to view, they can add to your family history in the following ways:

  1. They show the place as it looked at the time that the person lived there.  Towns and cities have changed dramatically over the past 100 years. Postcards let you see the place like your ancestor saw it.
  2. Your ancestral home may have been the subject of a postcard.  It’s common to find photos of homes.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see where your family lived, particularly if the house is no longer standing.
  3. Your ancestor or relative may have even been the subject of a photo that was sent as a postcard.  Although these are rarer (and even more rare to have a name associated with them) there still exist postcards with the images of people.  Even if it’s not a photo of your relative, you can review the fashions of the time period to see how your ancestor likely dressed.
  4. Your ancestor likely took a trip occasionally.  It may have been to visit a relative, to get supplies in the big city or even just to sight see. A postcard of how the location looked in that time period gives great perspective to your genealogy.
  5. In a given town in 1910, were cars used or horses or a mixture?  A postcard can show that to you.  Another common transportation subject was trains and railroad stations.  The available transportation in a given time period and place greatly impacted the people who lived there.
  6. Postcards are fabulous to use if you’re writing a family book.  Few people have plentiful family photos for the early 1900s.  A nice way to suppliment that is to use period postcards.

Using postcards for your genealogy project can really make a difference, not only in how you view your ancestors and the areas they lived in, but also in any presentation of your family history research.  The images help get others interested.

Step back in time with postcards!

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