1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 9, 2018 11:14 AM by Alan Walker

    Do railroad employee records in St. Louis for 1870 to 1900 and Memphis 1860 exist?

    Susan Brook Newbie

      Trying to find out whether the national archives (or elsewhere) has railroad employee records for St. Louis (1870 to 1900) and Memphis around 1860. One ancestor died in a railroad accident. Another had an accident where his arm was maimed. Trying to find more information.

        • Re: Do railroad employee records in St. Louis for 1870 to 1900 and Memphis 1860 exist?
          Alan Walker Scout

          Hello Ms. Brook,

          The National Archives and Records Administration holds permanently valuable records of the federal government. Since railroads are private entities, albeit ones with significant mingling with government, the chances of NARA holding any records of your ancestors’ employment experience are quite slim.

          Had any of your ancestors been employed by a railroad after 1936 there may be a record of pensions or related materials with the Railroad Retirement Board.

          Fortunately railroads are a high interest research topic and there are many other resources at your disposal.

          This familysearch Webpage provides some basic information. It recommends consulting railroad directories that may include your ancestors if they were senior enough. Another method would be to contact railroad company records repositories. These collections are not in a single place and their titles may only reflect the railroad companies’ name at the time the record were deposited rather than what it was historically.

          Here is another online resource:

          http://www.genealogytoday.com/guide/railroad-employees.html  : List of Short Lines across America

          The Library of Congress and the National Archives both have extensive railroad map collections. Please see this LoC page and please email branch.cartographic@nara.gov to begin the identification process.

          We hope these resources provide a helpful start. Best of luck with your research!


          Compiled by Alex Champion

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