Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Workday Wednesday - Neither snow nor rain nor the passage of generations...

Seal of the United States Post Office
Department (used until 1970)

I made a very interesting discovery when researching my mother's maternal ancestry.  Apparently, service to the United States Department of the Post Office ran rather deep in my grandmother's family!

I have previously posted the obituary for my 2nd Great Grandfather, Samuel Hill, which talked about his time not only as a Justice of the Peace, but also as the Postmaster for the village of Marseilles in Wyandot County, Ohio.  What wasn't mentioned in the obituary was the continued connection to the Post Office that ran through Samuel's son and grandson.  According to his obituary, Samuel was appointed as the Postmaster for Marseilles in 1898 and served in that capacity for 8 years until 1906.

The obituary for Samuel's son (my Great Grandfather), Franklin J. Hill, also prominently features his service to the Post Office.  Frank Hill was apparently appointed as the assistant Postmaster for Marseilles shortly after his father took over as Postmaster. Perhaps just a little nepotism going on there?  Frank served as the Assistant Postmaster until 1905 when he moved to Upper Sandusky, Ohio.  Two days after moving there, on November 15, 1905, Frank took over as the rural mail carrier for Route 4.  He subsequently worked on routes 2, 6, and 8.  All told, Frank served for nearly 30 years as a rural mail carrier out of Upper Sandusky.  According to his death certificate, Frank worked as a mail carrier until 29 May 1935, just 6 days before his death on 4 June 1935!

I knew much of the information above through discussions with my mother and through some of my early research.  What I didn't know, and didn't expect to find, was that the connection to the Post Office continued through at least one more generation of the Hill men.  Several years ago, while scanning a variety of newspaper clippings that my mother had, I apparently scanned a copy of her uncle's obituary.  I ran across this scan a week or two ago while working on organizing my digital files and creating citations for them.  As I sat and read the obituary for Carl Robert Hill, I was almost shocked to read that he too had served as an employee of the Post Office.  The only occupation mentioned in Carl's obituary is that he served as a an employee at the U.S. Post Office in Akron, Ohio "for a number of years".

During the past few months of self-education on genealogy, I have read from a number of different sources that the Post Office is one of those employers that can actually be a great source of genealogical information.  My sincere hope is that this proves to be true because it could unlock a great deal of information for me on my Hill lines!  Needless to say, when I resume doing new research later this year, sending off three requests for records will be high on my research plans!

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