History of State Abbreviations (US Post Office)

+4 votes
165 views
Took me awhile to figure out this was an issue but states' postal abbreviations have changed over the years. MI on an 1850 census report is almost certainly Mississippi, not Michigan, and MS was Massachusetts! Here is a page with the major changes.

https://www.peacockdata.com/support/pdzip/History-of-State-Abbreviations.pdf

Just to throw in a note for the territory I deal with a lot. Hawaii in the kingdom era (-1893) is typically K.H. in material coming from the islands, often S.I. to around 1850 or so in materials going to the islands. R.H. was rarely used in the revolutionary period (1893-98), most personal correspondence still used K.H. In the territorial period (1898-1959), T.H. was preferred on the islands though the H.T. form was used by the federal government in Washington.
in The Tree House by Ron Moore G2G6 Mach 2 (21.4k points)
Great list. Still guilty on using some of the old pre-1963 abbreviations even though I was a child of the 70's.  Mom graduated in '61 and I couldn't convince her things had changed when I was forced to write letters or thank you notes to people.  Fla, Ind and WVa are my worst offenders.

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