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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

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.

Good luck!

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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