2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2020 8:40 AM by Jill Ruch Branched to a new discussion.

    Looking for records of Boston USPS worker

    Marie Maxwell Adventurer

      Hello, I am asking on behalf of one of my neighbors whose grandfather was a United States Postal Service employee in the Boston area. I wasn't sure to put the question here or in African American Records.


      How can she (my neighbor) get the records of John Lay (aka Johnnie Lay) born November 27, 1895 in Franklin, GA and died March 10, 1971 in Boston, MA? He's listed in the Social Security Death Index. I told her to contact the Civilian Personnel Records Center in Valmeyer, IL, which she did and months later got a response that was puzzling. She got a Privacy Waiver and Authorization for Disclosure to a Third Party United State Postal Service form and a letter from the USPS saying she didn't include an Illinois death certificate.


      I'm at a loss of what to advise her because it looked like there was some kind of miscommunication somewhere because Mr. Lay's inclusion in the SSDI is good enough proof for me that he's dead. There is no one to sign the authorization because Mr. Lay is dead, his first wife Oelia Lay died in 1968, his second wife Emma Pierce Boggs died in 1994. The five children Oelia and John had died between 1937 and 1997. So it seems bananas

      his records cannot be released. Any suggestions?

        • Re: Looking for records of Boston USPS worker
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Ms. Maxwell,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          While the National Archives normally does not require proof of death in cases where the subject of the record would be over 100 years old, third-party requests for United States Postal Service Records are handled/answered by the USPS and they apply stricter access policies.  USPS's FOIA regulation at 39 CFR 265.3 states: Third-party requests. Where a FOIA request seeks disclosure of records that pertain to a third party, a requester may receive greater access by submitting a written authorization signed by that individual authorizing disclosure of the records to the requester, or by submitting proof that the individual is deceased (e.g., a copy of a death certificate or an obituary). As an exercise of administrative discretion, each component can require a requester to supply a notarized authorization, a declaration, a completed Privacy Waiver as set forth in 39 CFR 266.5(b)(2)(iii), or other additional information if necessary in order to verify that a particular individual has consented to disclosure.


          Therefore, if USPS requests a copy of a death certificate, we suggest complying with their request.  If your neighbor does not already have a copy, she can request one from Massachusetts's Registry of Vital Records. See their web page Ordering a Birth, Marriage, or Death Certificate.


          The USPS’s point of contact for this matter is Jane Eyre, Deputy Chief FOIA Officer. Her telephone number is 202-268-2608 and her email is jane.g.eyre@usps.gov.  Your neighbor also may contact the NPRC via email at stl.archives@nara.gov for assistance.


          We hope this information is helpful.

          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Looking for records of Boston USPS worker
            Jill Ruch Wayfarer

            Hello Marie: 


            Here is a link that helped me locate information on the Shelly Post Office:  https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1932/


            Place "John Lay" in the first and last name data fields and you will see a list of people who fit your description.  You will most likely need additional search criteria.  I hope this helps your neighbor.