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Trains and your family history

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Trains and your family history
Posted by 0-6-0 on Friday, March 10, 2017 8:30 PM

Hello I have not been here in a while. I have been resreaching my family history for the last for years. And I found a few modelrailroader's and a few that worked for the real RR. The modelrairoader's I know by there obiturries and the one's that worked there by the  U.S. cenus. I know one worked for the NYC and one for PRR both bye or in Toledo Ohio. And few that just list ther job but not where. one has Fireman steam Porter. 

I am trying to find out were some worked and what other did there. Is there a way to find old employee list's for these RR.

Has anyone else done this? What kind of railroad history do you have?

Have a nice day Frank

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, March 10, 2017 9:51 PM

0-6-0
What kind of railroad history do you have?

.

Going back three genertions ago my family actually maintained railroad equipment for the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. My grandfather was the last family member to work for RBBB, but he was not involved with the railroad or the performances.

.

I never met any of the family members who worked on the circus trains, so they had no influence on my hobby.

.

The Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin has all the information on my family and all the roles they held in the circus. I doubt that is a resource that will help very many people.

.

-Kevin

.

. Happily modeling a world of nonsense set in August, 1954.
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Posted by BMMECNYC on Friday, March 10, 2017 9:56 PM

0-6-0
I am trying to find out were some worked and what other did there. Is there a way to find old employee list's for these RR. Has anyone else done this?

You might try the Railroad Retirement Board. 

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, March 10, 2017 10:04 PM

Kevin, we are taking the grandson up there this summer.  If you would like, I can find out about your family members.  If your interested, send me a pm.

I have no family members that had anything to do with railroads, and I'm the only family member that is in to model railroading, and rail fanning, besides my wife.  She's from Montana, and her grandfather work on the track crew for the NP and the GN.

Mike.

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Posted by JOHN C TARANTO on Friday, March 10, 2017 10:49 PM

My father loved trains all his life.  As a boy in the 1930s, he would go down to the railroad station in Opelousas, Louisiana and watch Missouri Pacific ten-wheelers arrive with their passenger trains.  But it was my mother, not my father, that worked for the railroad.

During World War II, while my father was away serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, my mother and her sister took jobs with the Illinois Central Railroad in New Orleans.  I'm not sure what my aunt did, but my mom's job with the I.C.R.R. was to type up the waybills which were then stapled to the tack boards on the freights which came through.  

One night, a special train was being made up.  As usual, mom typed up the waybills and handed them to a young man who worked at the office with her.  He would then get on his bicycle, ride out to the train and tack them on the cars.  All of a sudden, he burst back into the office.  "I'm not going NEAR that train!" He exclaimed. "There's soldiers all around that train with MACHINE GUNS!!"  "Oh, for goodness sakes...", my mom replied, "give me those bills".  

Mom went out to the train and discovered that it was full of German POWs, on their way to an internment farm.

 

"Rosies on the railroad"  My mom (R) and her sister returning home from working the night shift on the Illinois Central Railroad, New Orleans, Louisiana.  Circa 1944.

"Shovel all the coal in, gotta keep 'em rolling..."  John.

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Posted by rogerhensley on Saturday, March 11, 2017 6:20 AM

My grandfather is the gentleman standing in the middle of the track with a pick on his shoulder. Sorry the photo isn't better, but it was nearly destroyed over the years.

No, I didn't know he was a railroader until years after his death.

Roger Hensley
= ECI Railroad - http://madisonrails.railfan.net/eci/eci_new.html =
= Railroads of Madison County - http://madisonrails.railfan.net/ =

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 7:01 AM

No history in my family, real or model railroad.  I guess I'm blazing the trail.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by peahrens on Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:39 AM

My Dad's father was a UP switcher engineer in Sidney NE, I'd guess driving an 0-6-0 in the 1910s - 1940s or so.  My Dad's mother's Dad was a UP crew supervisor on the construction of the parallel transcontinental trackage, but I don't know the time frame.

My Mom's dad worked in the Philly Baldwin locomotive works, where he unfortunately died in an accident in the shop around 1926.  My grandson and I took a train oriented trip a few years ago, including Baltimore, Scranton and Strasburg, where we saw some Baldwin steamers.  I had him reach out and touch those of that vintage, as his great-great-grandfather might have helped build it. 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by NYBW-John on Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:08 AM

My father grew up in Milwaukee but he was born in North Dakota while his father, the son of an Irish immigrant, worked for the Northern Pacific. I don't know too much beyond that as far as what he did or how long he worked there. My father was born in 1919.

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, March 11, 2017 10:44 AM

The latest issue of Trains magazine has a great article by former editor Kevin Keefe on just this very topic.  Check it out.

The Chicago and North Western Historical Society is one of the many rail historical societies which has spent quite a bit of time and resources on geneology issues -- those are among the most common inquiries to their archives and there is a sort of unwritten expectation that a modest donation is made if they can be of help.  So in the bigger picture it is actually a money maker for the Society, or at least provides a source of liquid cash from time to time.    For those interested in pursuing that, see here

http://www.cnwhs.org/archives_genealogy.htm

There are US census records from the past online and often they list the occupation of a breadwinner.  And old city directories (the kind that instead of going alphabetically by last name, go number by number down street names) often listed occupation.  All of those can be of use to someone trying to trace relatives and what they might have done for a living.

By the way those old city directories also often show where railroad crossings were.  They can be a helpful resource for the prototype modeler.

Back when the railroads had millions of employees and were often the largest single employer in large cities and towns, if you didn't have a relative who was a railroader who might at least have had family friends who were.  In my home town the local station agent was also the treasurer of my folks' church and my dad would often go visit the depot on church business.  Of course I "reluctantly" (ha) tagged along.  I thought he was the nicest man and he gave me some rail related stuff.  When he died his widow gave me even more stuff.  I thought he was a nice and friendly man who would show us around the depot interior -- but other railfans in town thought he was mean and crabby.  I guess I had an "in" that they did not.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by davidmurray on Saturday, March 11, 2017 10:52 AM

My Father's Father worked as a fireman for CN out of the Moncton New Brunswich yard.

I was a teenager when he died, and never knew him.  But that is the onlu family history that I know related to trains.

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by SouthPenn on Saturday, March 11, 2017 11:27 AM

My Dad worked for Baldwin Locomotive and was an avid model railroader.

Dad and I, 1951

South Penn
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Posted by angelob6660 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 12:33 PM

My dad told me one of his uncles worked on the B&O but doesn't remember his name.

My uncle Lance had a train set than my parents were growing up but no longer exists. 20 years later (never saw again) I saw a few boxes in the basement closest when my grandpa opened it showing I think HO.

I'm the most current model railroader and railfan. I'm not giving up my hobby or interest.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

Prototype railroads I model the Union Pacific, BNSF, Conrail and New York Central.

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Posted by G Paine on Saturday, March 11, 2017 12:42 PM

My wife's dad was an engineer on Maine Central, I have seen a photo of him in the cab of an F3. Later he worked a safety related job for the RR. She talks about him taking her to visit the Bangor, ME roundhouse 

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch

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Posted by 0-6-0 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 2:24 PM

Hello I new you guys would have some good stuff

Bmmecnyc  I check out the RRB and they might be able to help with a couple guy's because they have  unusual last name's. If I had there ss# then they could.

Dave  I will look for a copy of that Trains mag, city directories I used a lot in my searching some are a big help some are not. I will also look in to the CNW archive's.

John,Rodger,Southpenn Great photo's I would love to find a something like those.

Kevin I have always like the the old time circus trains and to have family to have been there. It make's one look at history a bit different.

Well this is what I have found so far that I know where they worked This is on my dad's side and are his step dad,uncle's and cousins.

Step dad ststionary steam engineer  Interlake Iron, uncle conductor PRR, uncle ststionary steam engineer Nickel Plate, uncle engineer Wheeling & Lake Erie, cousin maintence Nickel Plate, cousin dock engineer Chesapeake & Ohio. I still have 4 more that just list there job but not where.

I was only able to find two on my mom's side they would be cousins and they worked at Norfolk & western Railway  maintence of way.

Thanks for the help and sharing some of your history. Have a nice day Frank

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:11 PM

mbinsewi
Kevin, we are taking the grandson up there this summer. If you would like, I can find out about your family members.

 

Thanks for the offer, but I visited there about twenty years ao and copied everything they had. They even had an envelope of counterfeit coins that were received at one of my family's concession stands. An amazing collection of artifacts is kept there, but 99% of it is in archives out of public view.

.

-Kevin

.

. Happily modeling a world of nonsense set in August, 1954.
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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, March 11, 2017 11:02 PM

OK, cool, just thought I'd ask, since I live about 2 hrs. away, and going there anyway.  Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

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Posted by cowman on Sunday, March 12, 2017 6:57 PM

No RR workers in the family that I know of.  One of Mother's first jobs involved riding around the country on trains, from what I can tell she loved it.  Took a friend of mine and I on a regularly scheduled steam passenger train, as she knew they were going out.  Always enjoyed excursion trips, especially if they were steam powered.  When Lionel came out with their pastel train, she said, "I don't want one of those, steam engines are BLACK!"  I think now that if I had done much layout building, she would have been a great help.  She liked arts & crafts and would be great help today, now that I am really doing some scenicking.  Dad evidently liked my first model train, as Mom said he'd get upset with me, he wanted to lay in bed and watch the train go round and round.  I kept stopping it and backing it up."

Do have one step-nephew, that since his retirement, has gotten into model railroading.  Not sure  if it is based on the barely scenicked Lionel layout I had while I was in HS, out in a back building or not.  Belongs to a club and is building a module now.

Have fun,

Richard

 

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Posted by jk10 on Sunday, March 12, 2017 8:52 PM

My great-grandfather came over from Ireland and worked on a railroad on the east coast for awhile. He later moved to the Twin Cities and worked in the Omaha Shops. I believe this was for the Minneapolis, St. Louis Railway or something like that. Don't have the exact name in front of me. He lost his eye from a spark while on the job. Was some sort of welder/repairman on the steam engines. My mom has all the information on him. Doubt he had any impact on my interest in trains, but hopefully I can find some items from the railroad. 

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Posted by last mountain & eastern hogger on Sunday, March 12, 2017 11:01 PM

Whistling

Hi Guys,

This has been quite interesting, all the various roads that some of us have a connection though distant , to.

I had a Uncle and two of his sons working for the CPR at one time. The Uncle was a Station Agent at several placesin Alberta and one in Saskatchewan. One of his sone was a Station agent for awhile as well. The other son was a Fireman for them until he passed early in a car accident.

Another Uncle had been a Carman for the CN out of Winnipeg early in his career.

My Dad and I, and one of my sons have been bus people in our careers. My Dad and I drove for Greyhound, 21 years for him and 34 years for me.   My son is 17 years into his driving Career with a provincial carrier.

Lets hear more history,

Johnboy out............

from Saskatchewan, in the Great White North.. 

We have met the enemy,  and he is us............ (Pogo)

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Monday, March 13, 2017 11:55 AM

So far the only person in my family who actually worked on the railroad was my great great grandfather from mexico.  My Grandma told me he was an engineer for a certain road down in mexico in the 40's/50's and he used to count the number of cars on freight trains including the caboose.

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Posted by josephbw on Monday, March 13, 2017 12:06 PM

Dad worked as a clerk for the Erie RR while in high school. As soon as he graduated he was drafted and sent to Italy during WWII (after he finished training of course).Big Smile

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Posted by Canalligators on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 9:31 AM

No known railroaders in my family, but I married into a railroad family.  Most notably, my father in law worked for the LIRR through his whole adult life.  He started off as a gopher in the engine shop, about 1930.  He retired in '73, at that time he was general foreman of the diesel shop at Morris Park.

His son in law, my BIL, worked as a diesel mechanic there, and later for the NW and NS.  In turn, his son currently works there.  My wife's sister took a job with the Long Island, that's where she met her husband, who also spent his career with the railroad.

Today, my son works in the rail division of NY DOT.  They're involved with grants and project management, mostly on short lines.  But all things come around; one of the roads he works with is the NY & Atlantic, the freight road on Long Island.

I joke that my wife is not a railfan, but it's in her blood.  When the kids were little, we were visiting the family in Bellevue.  I'd heard that NKP765 was going to be in town.  I was watching the kids, when we heard the whistle.  I said, hey you guys want to see the steam train?  Sure!  Then I went looking but couldn't find either my camera or my wife.  Turns out she was already at trackside.

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Posted by yougottawanta on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:08 PM

We had family members who were machinIst who made parts sold to N&W and I assume otehr RRs.

YGW

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Posted by 0-6-0 on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:56 PM

Hello there sure is some cool railroad histroy here. I am not real srue who got my dad started in the hobby. I know he grew up by a set of actvie track's in Toledo. He did have one uncle and a cousin the were modelrailroader's. And he was the one that got me started. My search for family railroad history is going to be pretty tough with out some info I my never find. But I will keep searching. Thanks for the help and sharing your history Frank

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:12 PM

jk10

My great-grandfather came over from Ireland and worked on a railroad on the east coast for awhile. He later moved to the Twin Cities and worked in the Omaha Shops. I believe this was for the Minneapolis, St. Louis Railway or something like that. Don't have the exact name in front of me. He lost his eye from a spark while on the job. Was some sort of welder/repairman on the steam engines. My mom has all the information on him. Doubt he had any impact on my interest in trains, but hopefully I can find some items from the railroad. 

The Omaha Road was an affiliate/subsidiary of the Chicago & North Western.  Official name Chicago, Minneapolis, St Paul & Omaha.  It was a surprisingly large and extensive railroad in its own right.  The main shops were in Hudson WI but that is not far from the Twin Cities.  They also had shops and facilities in the Twin Cities themselves.  The C&NW Historical Society might have information about him in their archives.
 
There is an excellent book on the Omaha Road by Stan Mailer, and the C&NW Historical Society regularly has Omaha Road stuff in their quarterly magazine, North Western Lines.
Dave Nelson
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Posted by CGW121 on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:27 PM

My Moms dad worked for the Michigan Central as a station agent, Mom was born in the Pontiac Depot. Dad was always facinated by the railroad. His brother was a hobo who spent years out west following the planting/Harvesting work.  I grew up next to several railroads, The CGW then the CNW also the EJ&Ewas close and the CB&Q.Last but not least was the CA&E I remember picking up Dad from the station near us.

 

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Posted by PRR_in_AZ on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:35 PM

My Grandmother's Dad was a Fireman.  He lost his arm right above the elbow when he accidently fell from the cab.  IIRC the train severed his arm.  The family moved from Harrisburg, PA to Altoona, PA.  Since he could no longer fire, the PRR gave him a job as a grade crossing guard operator.  This was before automatic grade crossings.  Since I was born and raised in Altoona, PA, most of the town was employed for the railroad in some capacity.  My grandfather worked in the shops briefly sometime during the thirties or maybe the war years, with the assembly of GG-1 electrics.

Chris

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Posted by olson185 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 8:29 AM

0-6-0
Has anyone else done this? What kind of railroad history do you have?

Apparently there is or was some faux marbling inside the 1931-32 Erie Station at Jamestown, NY.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown_Gateway_Train_Station My grandmother told me my grandfather did all the marbling.  He was a painter; not a mason, so I'm guessing faux marbling is what she meant.  That's as close to RRing my family gets, as far as I know (nearly everyone was an artist/structural engineer/architect of some sort).

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Posted by DS4-4-1000 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 8:41 AM

My great grandfather Eddie Stahl was an engineer on the PRR.  Early in his career he had the Lewistown to Sunbury run.  When that line was severed he transferred to Shamokin and ran some of the mine runs.  I have some of his books including a USRA engineman's handbook.

Another relative worked for the Reading as a ditch digger.  Apparently he was very good at it and could produce a straight and properly sloped ditch just by eyeballing.

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