Railroad Research – Migration and Occupations

March 18th, 2018 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor



Title: No Car—Did Your Ancestors Come by Passenger Rail Car?
Session: T204
Time & Date: Thursday, 03 May 2018, 8:00 a.m.

As our ancestors migrated westward in the 1800’s, better and faster means of transportation were required to move settlers than the early modes of horseback, wagon trains, and riverboats or steamships. Did your ancestors migrate to the Midwest using the railway system?

Anyone whose ancestor worked for a railroad, is interested in learning their family’s migration patterns via the railroads, or who has an interest in Midwestern railroads will benefit from this session. Understanding how your ancestor might have arrived in a particular location and the transportation they used to get there helps tell their story.

Attendees will learn:
 How our ancestors used the railway system to migrate westward
 If the railway system followed major U.S. migration routes to the Midwest including waterways
 Major Midwestern railroads and railroad towns during the 19th and 20th centuries
 Railroad occupations
 Railroad genealogy – what railroad is it today?
 Where to find railroad records and what information they might contain

Find railroad network maps for your ancestor and follow the tracks. Understand the importance of the railroad in your ancestor’s life, and fill in research gaps using information found in railroad pension files (beginning in 1936).

ABOUT: Karen Molohon, M.S. Ed. / M.S., is a lecturer at local and state societies on topics including: overview of genealogy, getting started, research organization, census records, geography, migration & mapping, and photography. She teaches the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s (OLLI) genealogy course at Kennesaw State University. Karen is active in the genealogical community currently serving as Webmaster of the Cobb County Genealogical Society and President of the Georgia Genealogical Society.