How much communication between Ohio and Texas was likely in the early-mid 1900s?

+2 votes
I have pretty much proven that the Thomas May that I found is one of my Mays and I believe that he is one of the men in the picture of the four May Brothers. He was most certainly alive then but now I am wondering if he might have lived too far to be heard from much since most of the family seemed to live in Northeast Ohio/Northwestern or western Pennsylvania.

Besides that fact, I question if the other siblings knew much about his daily life as he lived over 1000 miles from his closest known sibling. The thing that makes me wonder about him being in the picture is his death occurred just 5 years before my great-great grandfather died and they make no mention of the siblings who went before. Now, John and Edward and possibly Bernard (more on that in a minute) had died at least 20 years before my gg grandfather so I don't expect his family to mention but 5 years doesn't seem like that long a time. In fact, my uncle passed away 8 years ago tomorrow and it still doesn't seem like that long a time ago.

So to conclude, even if he is in the picture, should I expect them to know much about each other's lives back then?


Thank you,

WikiTree profile: Thomas May
in Genealogy Help by Michael Hruska G2G6 Mach 5 (53.4k points)
edited by Michael Hruska
If they wrote letters to one another there's no reason they wouldn't have known everything about each other.  And for faster messages the telegraph is from the 1830s and even my great-grandparents had a telephone by 1912.
I get that but I guess my next question is does it matter that none of the predeceased siblings were ever mentioned in any of their obituaries. Was it common practice to just mention the parents and spouse unless they were survivors?
Customs change, and we have to avoid "presentism."  We can't assume that the currently popular practice of listing the "predeceased" in obituaries prevailed in the past.

When my father was born in the 1920s, his parents were living about 2000 miles away from their families (all in the U.S.). Based on the letters they received congratulating them on the birth, I believe they may have sent telegrams to tell their families about the arrival of their firstborn child. However, apparently they had not previously told their families that a baby was expected. Times change!

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
After the Civil War it was possible to cover the entire US by train and get from the East Coast to California in three days or so. Letters, telegrams and later telephones were easily used. Texas and Ohio are only 1000 miles apart and families usually stayed in contact over this distance without any problem. Both my father (born 1899) and my grandfather (born 1863) were in the US Army and travelled back and forth across the US and overseas with their families with no difficulty. My other grandfather (born 1872 and living in Massachusetts) visited my parents in Hawaii during the 1920s.

I think the practice of listing the siblings in an obituary varied with whomever wrote the obituary and with what information he/she possessed, but usually only survivors were and are listed.
by Henry Chadwick G2G6 Mach 4 (49.3k points)
selected by Anonymous Troy
+1 vote
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)

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