U. S. Post Office Workers

Mail delivery has been available in the United States since the late 1700s. It began in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin appointed as the first postmaster general. A full Post Office Department of the government was created in 1792.

Mail in those early years was paid for by the person receiving the letter or package not the sender. In 1847, the USPS first introduced the postage stamp, making it easy for individual shippers (senders) of mail to cover the cost.

At the start of the twentieth century, the U. S. Post Office was one of the largest employers in the country. Due to the numbers employed many people have a postal worker somewhere in the family tree. The Ancestry.com archive holds employment records in the form of appointment indexes, pension records, and minute books.

The available indexes cover from 1831 through to the early 1960s. They provide details of the area an employee worked in and the job they held.

Besides using the subscription Ancestry.com, there is the Postal Museum with their ‘Discovery Room‘ resources available to use. The material available in the Postal Museum is vast.

Even if you are not sure if an ancestor worked for the US Post Office Service, it is worth checking. Check especially with the ‘Discovery Room’.

Photos: Brooklyn post office staff in 1900; List of postmaster names for Warren Co., NJ 1929-1959; Postal worker in snow in 1929 and US street mailbox and worker in 1910.

Related Familytree.com Blog:

Women Postmasters

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