Thursday, October 3, 2013

Railroad Employees' Records

Genealogy tip for today: Railroad Records and Employees




When I was growing up I had several uncles who were railroad men. Back in “those days” railroading was very popular and even romanticized. Trains were a big deal. Of my uncles, one worked in the office, one was a conductor – and his wife made his uniforms to specs! A great uncle also worked ‘on the road’ but I don’t remember for sure if he worked as a conductor or something else.

We were always waving at the engineers and the caboose men when the trains went by. We watched for trains when we were out on the road. We would talk about to which rail line that train belonged. But we never rode the trains on any regular basis. I barely remember riding a train, only one time, when I was growing up. I slept most of the way, hence the lack of memory. I do remember getting off and meeting the uncle who worked in the RR office.

Come forward many, many years. When I was in library school I had the opportunity to work at the Kansas State Historical Society. There I worked on the AT&SF prior service records, meaning prior to 1936 when Social Security was created. [Railroad employees had their own social security program.] These are records of people who retired prior to 1936. (Sample) They are 3x5 cards and they are in files that can be researched by the patron. It has been awhile, but if I remember right, you can get the person’s names, years he worked, when he retired, pension received and in a lot of cases when he died and what pension was given to the widow. Sometimes they even have color of hair and eyes and height – some pertinent information you won’t necessarily find anywhere else.

If you research ‘Railroad and Genealogy’ you will find several sites on the internet. But here is a site that I found that gives you a list of many railroads and links to where you can find their information. It is 24 pages long, so it is quite a list! If you know of an ancestor that worked on the railroad, maybe you will find information that would help in your genealogy research. We always want to look for ways to round out who our people are.

Today in History            

1739 Russia signs a treaty with the Turks, ending a three-year conflict between the two countries.
1776 Congress borrows five million dollars to halt the rapid depreciation of paper money in the colonies.
1862 At the Battle of Corinth, in Mississippi, a Union army defeats the Confederates.
1873 Captain Jack and three other Modoc Indians are hanged in Oregon for the murder of General Edward Canby.
1876 John L. Routt, the Colorado Territory governor, is elected the first state governor of Colorado in the Centennial year of the U.S.
1906 The first conference on wireless telegraphy in Berlin adopts SOS as warning signal.
1929 The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes officially changes its name to Yugoslavia.
1931 The comic strip Dick Tracy first appears in the New York News.
1940 U.S. Army adopts airborne, or parachute, soldiers. Airborne troops were later used in World War II for landing troops in combat and infiltrating agents into enemy territory.
1941 The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart as detective Sam Spade, opens.
1942 Germany conducts the first successful test flight of a V-2 missile, which flies perfectly over a 118-mile course.
1944 German troops evacuate Athens, Greece.
1951 A "shot is heard around the world" when New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson hits a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, beating the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant.
1952 The UK successfully conducts a nuclear weapon, becoming the world's third nuclear power
1955 Two children's television programs and a family sitcom all destined to become classics debut:  Captain Kangaroo, Mickey Mouse Club, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
1963 A violent coup in Honduras ends a period of political reform and ushers in two decades of military rule.
 1985 The Space Shuttle Atlantis makes its maiden flight.
1989 Art Shell becomes the first African American to coach a professional football team, the Los Angeles Raiders.
1990 After 40 years of division, East and West Germany are reunited as one nation.
1993 Battle of Mogadishu, in which 18 US soldiers and some 1,000 Somalis are killed during an attempt to capture officials of the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid's organization.
1995 Former pro football star and actor O.J. Simpson is acquitted of the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, ending what many called "the Trial of the Century.".
2008 The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase distressed assets of financial corporations and supply cash directly to banks to keep them afloat.

1800 George Bancroft, historian, known as the "Father of American History" for his 10-volume A History of the United States.
1900 Thomas Wolfe, American novelist (Look Homeward Angel) not to be confused with American novelist Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff).
 1916 James Herriot, Yorkshire veterinarian and author of All Creatures Great and Small.
1925 Gore Vidal, writer ("Myra Breckinridge," "Burr," "Lincoln"); one of the screenwriters on the movie Ben Hur (1959).
1935 Charles "Charlie" Duke, the youngest astronaut to walk on the moon (1972); retired from US Air Force as a brigadier general.
1938 Eddie Cochran, influential rock 'n' roll pioneer ("Summertime Blues").
1941 Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans), singer, songwriter who popularized the dance The Twist; Billboard magazine ranked "The Twist" as the most popular single in its Hot 100 since the list's debut in 1958.
1954 Al Sharpton, African-American minister, civil rights activist, TV and radio talk show host; unsuccessful candidate for Democratic nomination for the US presidency in 2004.





noun: The lot, collection, or crowd.


The word is mostly seen in the expression "kit and caboodle" meaning "the whole lot".


Perhaps from boodle (money, goods, people), from Dutch boedel (property). Earliest documented use: 1848.


"New York City teems with questionable urban legends. But the fable about the postal clerk and his wife, a Brooklyn librarian, scrimping to amass an astounding collection of modern art, cramming all 5,000 pieces in a rent-controlled one-bedroom apartment, then donating the whole kit and caboodle to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and galleries in all 50 states, is true."
Douglas Martin; Herbert Vogel, Fabled Art Collector, Dies at 89; The New York Times; Jul 24, 2012.

"Theresa cruised through the office once a month with a caboodle full of scissors, smocks, and hair color.
" Lisa Baron; Life of the Party; Citadel Press; 2011.

The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity -- much less dissent. -Gore Vidal, author (1925-2012) 

 Today’s Recipe
Treats, No Tricks!



Washed, unpeeled potatoes (depending on the size of your potatoes, expect about 3 ghosts per spud)

Olive oil
Seasoned salt
Onion powder
Garlic salt
Sour cream

Additional Instructions

  1. Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/2-inch slabs. Cut the rounded tip off one end of each slab to create a ghost shape. [Blogger’s note: I think I would cut the rounded end off first. You might be able to make it another ghost if it is one piece.]
  2. Grease a baking sheet and lay the potato slabs on it (pieces with skin go skin-side down). Brush the top of each slab with olive oil and season with seasoned salt, onion powder, and garlic salt. (Suggestion: combine 1 teaspoon of each spice in a bowl, then sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon of the mixture over each slab.)
  3. Bake at 400ยบ for 30 minutes or until a fork pierces the potatoes easily.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then "ice" them with sour cream to create a tasty white ghost. Add slices of scallion for eyes and a mouth. 

Now You Know!