A Telegram to John F. Kennedy
Between 1861 – 2006, Western Union delivered telegrams all over the U.S. They reached their peak in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s, when sending a telegram was cheaper than placing a long distance call. Telegrams in genealogy are great because it gives you a glimpse into the lives of your ancestors, albeit in very short statements. Despite their length, many carried some valuable genealogical information. Often, relatives used them to alert family members of a death or birth. These announcements can certainly help add to your family tree or provide additional clues in your search.
Along the way, you might even find some amusing telegrams as well. Check out this telegram Harpo Marx sent John F. Kennedy congratulating him on winning the democratic presidential nomination dated July 14, 1960:
Do you have telegrams in your genealogy documents collection? What interesting messages have you discovered? Let us know in the comments below!