Sunday, December 6, 2015

Lost Mail May Be A Genealogical Gem Someday

Don't know if you saw the recent article about undelivered mail found in an old trunk.  When I say old, I mean really old - as in 17th Century.  You can read about it at A Postal 'piggybank'.
We have terrible US Mail service, receiving several pieces of mail a week that don't belong to us.  It makes me wonder how much I don't receive.
If it was junk mail I wouldn't care but it's been affecting important correspondence lately.  The most recent "lost" mail was from the Board of Certified Genealogy (BCG) with a much needed portfolio requirement enclosed.  Thank goodness I was notified via email the first week in November that I would be receiving a packet with a document to transcribe within 2 weeks.  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday I gave it extra time - 3 weeks - but it still didn't come.  I contacted BCG and they verified it was mailed to my address on November 14th.  They will resend if I don't receive it by week's end.
In the past, I've spoken in person to my Postmaster who shrugged his shoulders when I tried to find out what happened to the last important piece of mail that never arrived back in June.  He told me that the mail service doesn't guarantee delivery.  Clearly!  My son had sent a time important document within the state as certified, return receipt requested and it had been lost.  Postmaster said they'd put a tracer on it but that was it.  I thought the barcode scans were a way to trace but obviously they aren't very useful.  That document was found in the wrong city and arrived a month later, way past the deadline needed.  No explanation as to why it was in the wrong city.  No apology, either.  Since it was found and eventually delivered we were told that we couldn't get a refund on the postage because again, "there's no guarantee" mail will be delivered in the time frame that is posted in the Post Office.
Since there's nothing I can personally do (except avoid using snail mail as much as possible) to insure my letters are delivered I'm seriously considering sending my portfolio to BCG electronically.
I also have had the thought that just maybe, in 400 years, the BCG letter will arrive and it will make an interesting new story.  Don't know if there's an explanation in the envelope explaining why it was being sent but if not, it will have created a mystery as to why a copy of an old record was mailed to someone.  My poor future relatives will be all confused as to how we're related to the individual and perhaps spend time trying to make a connection.
Bet you're like me and love to solve genealogical mysteries, not create them. If so, read this article 
in the New England Historic Genealogical Society weekly newsletter as it's equally important that we leave our stories for our descendants. Happy Hunting!

No comments:

Post a Comment