About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

U.S. Postmasters - Part 3, Green County, Wisconsin (cont'd)

As mentioned in yesterday's blog, I am curious about the Postmasters of Green County, Wisconsin. It seems a perfect place to begin my excursion into this collection of microfilms for a number of reasons: Green County underwent a great number of changes from its creation in 1837 (it was formed from Iowa, so a complete research of this area's Postmasters would have to extend into that state - the microfilm collection of Appointments of Postmasters begins in 1832), and this was the time period that included the Civil War - I wonder if people were dismissed from one Federal appointment to take on another. It is clear that this exploration may involve much deeper research into other forms of records. Let's check some examples:

These are the pages with which I began my journey in Green County (the microfilm collection is more completely explained in my blog back in April):

I know, the images are virtually impossible to read. Well, let me enlarge one of the names on the first of the two graphics above:

The second name listed is Fredolin Egger, who was appointed as the Postmaster for the New Glarus Post Office on 24 May 1856. There was not another Postmaster appointed before the 1860 census, so I checked that Population Schedule to see if he declared himself a Federal employee. Nope. He said he was a "merchant." He was born in Switzerland (no requirement to be a native-born American for a Postmaster position).

Let's check another one - Harry Prior:

Harry was appointed Postmaster of the Morefield Post Office on 13 December 1854. According to the 1860 census, he considered his main source of income to be as a farmer and he lived in Mt. Pleasant. The Morefield Post Office was discontinued on 16 January 1861. Good luck finding any references to this small locale! But if you have an ancestor who declared his/her home was "Morefield," there is a chance that he/she was being quite truthful. Have problems locating the town your forebear came from? Check this microfilm collection!

One more for this post - Alfred Goddard of Monroe, Wisconsin. Monroe was a larger town and had many change outs in the Postmaster position:

Let's get a closer look at Mr. Goddard:
Monroe was the County Seat and housed the courthouse (that's what /c.h./ means) and Mr. Goddard received his assignment on 2 June 1853. He lived in that same community, according to the 1860 census (where he is listed as "A. Goddard") and declared his primary occupation to be "merchant." His successor did not take over until April 1861, so it is very likely that Mr. Goddard was still at his Post Office job (probably in the General Mercantile) just before the Civil War broke out. Something to check from here: an enlistment for Alfred Goddard in the Union Army (my own cursory check revealed nothing, but a more thorough search might be more revealing - however, he was 42 in 1860 so this probably would not pan out).

Well, I hope I've given you some ideas for further research on your ancestors. I'll continue with some other types of examples in the posts to come. Best wishes in your roots pursuits.

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