Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Workday Wednesday - The United States Postal Service

1847 5-cent stamp depicting Benjamin Franklin, First U.S. Postmaster General,
appointed by the Continental Congress on 26 Sept 1789.
Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.

Have you checked out NARA Microfilm Publication M841 Record of Appointments of Postmasters, 1832-September 30, 1971 to see if any of your ancestors served as postmaster?

Jean Wilcox Hibben of Circlemending has written an excellent series of blog posts exploring these records and describing the types of information that can be found. Click here for the first post which provides an overview of the record group, where to find the microfilms, etc.

I have discovered two ancestors who served as postmasters:
  • My great-grandfather Ambrose B. Martindale was appointed postmaster at Carmona, Polk County, Texas, on 16 February 1894. [Source: Jim Wheat, Postmasters & Post Offices of Polk County, Texas, 1847-1930 ( : accessed 28 May 2010), Ambrose B. Martindale, 16 Feb 1894.]
  • My 2nd great-granduncle Arad W. Franklin was appointed postmaster at Ostrander, Delaware County, Ohio, on 13 April 1893. [Source: "Postmasters 1842-2003," Delaware County, Ohio, Ostrander and Scioto Township History ( : accessed 20 Sept 2011), Arad W. Franklin, 13 April 1893.]
More recently, my uncle, William H. Yawman, worked for the post office (not sure in what capacity) and my sister is a postal clerk in Denton, Texas.

© 2011 Denise Spurlock, Ancestral Trees Research


  1. Thanks for this article Denise (great name btw). It sparked my memory about my husband's great-grandfather who was a postmaster in Nebraska. I need to get back on his trail based on your post and referral to Jean Hibben. --Denise Hibsch Richmond

  2. Denise, Good luck on your search through the postal records!