The final count on the books include sixty-eight without names of individuals, up from 54 with the new ones found as we proceeded. There are thirty books with individual's names in them, we had counted one book twice and thus our final number was one less. In November, after four trips, I completed twelve books. In December, after three trips, I completed another eleven books, leaving seven to do after the New Year. Then in January and February I made another four trips to complete the final seven books. The process of reviewing the books took a total of eleven trips to complete the project.
Each of the books with names in them varied as to the type of information being recorded. Here are the categories of books, with the books listed by dates:
Books With Names of People - 30
1 Jul 1909- 31 Dec 1909
Official Postmaster’s Account & Record Book Fourth Class - 4
Register of Postal Savings Certificates Issued - 11911-1917
As is indicated by this list the books cover the time period from 1899 to 1935. My ancestors lived in this town from 1913 to 1935, coming and leaving in various time intervals; some still live there today. The Wilson family relatives, who my friend is related to, lived in the town from about 1901 to 1935. Each book has approximately 284 pages, with 44 lines on each page. With thirty books, this is about 8,520 pages. Most books had every page filled, with occasional spaces. When I finished with my hand written notes there were 50 pages, which are now condensed to 38 pages. The books were not indexed in exact order, so it is nice to now have the contents in order and visually easier to read. Indexing the information was carefully done to preserve the exact spelling, when legible, with the exception of the States being indexed in the standard two-letter code.
I won't list the exact count for each person found, but I will share some interesting pieces of information.
There are names for the Hoover family and an A. G. Hemingway who sent a money order to Oregon City, Oregon in 1919. These are names of some well-known people who came to visit or lived in Oregon during this time period.
There are entries from 1917 to 1918 for individuals who bought war savings bonds, one being for my Grandmother's cousin Ronald Sherk.
Over the years a few people bought International Money Orders. I am including those from 1916 to 1919, and some of these entries were marked in red. This being the time period of World War I, were these transactions being scrutinized? If you had ancestors who emigrated from these places, this might provide clues to their place of residence in the old country.
Date Name Place Amount/Fee
This concludes the summary of the research project of indexing ancestral names from the Post Office Ledger Books of Sherwood, Oregon. Would I take on another such project? A lot depends on the circumstances, including time, location and overall depth of the material information to be gained. There are so many resources hidden in deep dark places just waiting for someone to find them. In the process I was able to provide the Sherwood, Oregon Heritage Center with a complete inventory of their collection and a sample of three separate familie's entries. Now that things are organized and I understand a little better the contents of the books, I would certainly assist someone who wanted to locate their ancestors. What would you do if you found a similar collection?