3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2021 11:06 AM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking death record of immigrant crushed by train

    Colleen Oenning Newbie

      A relative left Ireland in May, 25 1924 on the ship SS Athenia to Quebec.  He had a 30A form and St. Albans number, but was killed by jumping off the train before or after entering US.  The family story is that his coat caught and he was crushed by the train; his companion survived.  I cannot find his death in Canadian or US records.

        • Re: Seeking death record of immigrant crushed by train
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          Could you give us your relative's name & age, so that we could search for possible information?

            • Re: Seeking death record of immigrant crushed by train
              Colleen Oenning Newbie

              Hi name James McCormick born -Tar Drum, Greencastle, County Donegal, Ireland in 1900. He left Londonderry to Montreal, Canada on the SS Athenia on May 25, 1924.  He had a St. Albans number of 24 / 305 and filled out a 30A with the number 428 stamped on it.  His traveling companion was Patrick Hannon, 38 from the Greencastle, County Donegal, Ireland-same area although he did not fill out next of kin.  His 30A was marked 388 and the date 1924 stamped.  The story is they were going to jump off the train but Jame's coat caught on the train and he was crushed by train.  Patrick H. lived and went on to Chicago.  I would like to find Jame's date of death, burial and maybe a newspaper report of the incident.  Thank you!

            • Re: Seeking death record of immigrant crushed by train
              Cara Jensen Tracker

              Dear Ms. Oenning,


              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


              We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the Saint Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1/11/1895 - 11/30/1954 in the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Record Group 85) that are popularly called the “St. Albans Lists”. For access to the non-digitized schedules, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov


              We also located the Railroad Accident Investigation Reports, 1911 - 1963 in the Records of the Interstate Commerce Commission (Record Group 134) that may include information about his death if the accident was investigated and a report was filed. For more information, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


              Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1 & RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


              You may wish to search Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org for the St. Albans Lists. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.


              We suggest that you search for the listing of James McCormick in the St. Albans Lists using the information that you have provided to see if the record contains any clues as to his beginning and final destination along with the date of travel. For example, his Canada Ocean Arrivals Form 30A lists his final destination “Richard Campbell, 207 Rhodes Ave, Toronto”.  This information may be used to narrow the list of train routes to search for that particular date from that particular city to his destination.  Once you have an idea of the route that he may have taken, we suggest that you request a search for his death record from the appropriate county or province office using the FamilySearch Research wikis for Canada Vital Records and United States Death Records.   


              We also suggest that you use the location information to search local newspaper archives for information on the death of James McCormick, plus search under unidentified bodies and train accident victims. 


              In addition, the NARA publication By Way of Canada | National Archives and the FamilySearch Research wiki for  Vermont, St. Albans Canadian Border Crossings may be useful.


              We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!