Using old postcards as research…..

Those members who were at the first One Place Studies conference in Telford last year will have heard me talking about my WW1 War Memorial books and how I researched them.

One area of research I really enjoy is searching for old postcards relating to the places or names I am researching and trying to link the locations, the addresses to the census or see if the recipient is a member of the family who has married or moved away.

For example I was very lucky during my Aldeburgh World War 1 research to find an old postcard sent from the WW1 frontline in 1917 to an address in Aldeburgh and was able to include this in my book.

Postcard from the Front 1917  Postcard from the Front 1917 reverse

I have also spent time when I have purchased a bundle of old postcards at a car boot sale to research the names on the cards, to see if they feature in any family trees on Ancestry and again this way I have been able to reunite these items with closer family members who are interested in adding them to their own family research.

Although this takes time to do it has paid dividends to me as over the course of the last year various genealogy friends and contacts have found postcards which mention Parham my One Place Study or LAST my One Name Study and they have very kindly either sent me a message about them or bought and sent them to me.


Parham Hall 11 3 14 Front  Parham Hall 11 3 14 Reverse


Jane postcard 1 16 5 14  Jane postcard 2 16 5 14

Again with my WW1 interest I recently found some old photo postcards of a Soldier that simply said Uncle Will SAWYER on the reverse and with it in the second hand shop were some other postcards addressed to a SAWYER family in Buxhall in Suffolk, again using Ancestry I have been able to find a relative and reunite these photos, which always gives a great sense of satisfaction.

Postcard 4 front  Postcard 4 back

Postcard 3 front   Postcard 3 back

Therefore spread the word about the places you are researching for your One Place Study or the names for your One Name Study via Facebook pages, blogs, Twitter etc. so that people have those names in their minds when they are trawling car boot sales, postcard fairs, EBay etc. as you never know what may turn up in your post one day!

Simon LAST


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1 Response to Using old postcards as research…..

  1. Jana Last says:


    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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