Wish you were here!

I love old postcards, not only because they open a visual window on a lost world, but also because they often bear the thoughts, best wishes, and frustrations sent from one long-gone ancestor to another. This is not just a collection of pictures; it's an expectant ear, bent in anticipation of the gossip of long-silent voices.

Warning: most of the genealogical notes here are based on census records, augmented by other unauthenticated sources.  I believe that what I've written is correct, but there are no guarantees.

You may want to read some introductory notes about postcard history that may be helpful when reading the postcard descriptions.

A plea:

I welcome your contributions to this section, whether they are additional bits of information about any of the cards here, or images of your own cards. I'm happy to receive images of any sort, but if you can scan them at 200%, front and back, it maximizes the visibility of the detail and matches the format of the others.




      Dalton City


      Lovington       Sullivan

A word about post card history:

Private postcards are a mode of communication that does not, in this country, preceed the twentieth century.  When reviewing these cards, it it helpful to remember that:

  • It was not until December 24, 1901 that the government permitted privately printed cards (prior to this, the postal service printed post cards, but they were bland affairs, without photographs).  The reverse side of these newly-authorized cards was reserved for the address, and consequently there was usually a blank area on the front of the card for a hand-written message. 
  • On March 1, 1907, the government first permitted 'divided back' cards; that is, post cards in the format we know today: a front entirely devoted to a scene, while the back was divided in half -- the left for a message, and the right for the address.

After this date, there were no more statuary limititions that defined postcards' layouts, but there are some stylistic characteristics that can help date cards that bear no postmark:

  • Cards which have a divided back and which have a photograph that covers the entire front of the card (with perhaps a title band at the bottom) probably date from 1907 to about 1915.
  • After 1915, card publishers increasingly printed cards with a white border around the photo.
  • Beginning about 1930, cards appear that were printed on high rag content paper in bright colors, commonly known as 'linen cards'
Of these types, this collection contains examples of all except linen cards. For an example of a linen card, click on the  image in the upper left corner on the Military/Moultrie Civil War Participants page.