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Finding Genealogical Information About Rail Workers
(Posted March 18, 2007)
Question 622: I am doing genealogy on my great-grandmother. Her brother retired from the railroad. I am trying to find out where he came from in Ireland. Is there a way I can find out anything about him through railroad pension records?
Answer: The best place to start a genealogical search for a rail worker is to consult the genealogical section of the Railroad Retirement Board's web site at:
The Railroad Retirement Board has complete records for individuals who worked in the railroad industry, beginning in January 1937. To request a search of those records you will need to furnish the worker's Social Security Number. There is a fee for this service.
If the rail worker's service was before 1937, the Railroad Retirement Board's web site has information on other sources of rail records. The earlier you want to search the more difficult it will be to locate information. Many early railroad went out of business; their personnel and payroll records sometimes were destroyed or lost.
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