Railroad Workers in the 1920s

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Railroad Workers in the 1920s

Postby Cori » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:03 am

This is a history question. I am not a railroad worker, but I might descend from a family of railroad workers. I have been researching my family tree and trying to solve a mystery (Who is my paternal grandfather?) utilizing both DNA and Ancestry.com. I have a close DNA match and other matches pointing strongly to a family in Pennsylvania. But here's the deal: They were in Pittsburgh (according to census records), while my father was born in Los Angeles in 1927. How likely is it that a freight conductor or a fireman (two brothers in this family-both in the business, as well as their father and grandfather) would be traveling that far in the course of his work?

Thank you in advance to anyone who knows their railroad employment history and takes the time to weigh in on this.
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Re: Railroad Workers in the 1920s

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:56 pm

Very unlikely, unless the fireman was a "boomer" for a time and wound up in LA in the course of bouncing around looking for railroad work during a slow period in Pittsburgh. Even then it's unlikely, as no single railroad serves both of those cities.
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Re: Railroad Workers in the 1920s

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:22 pm

Can someone tell us if a company like Pullman had seniority districts? They operated throughout the country. The post office would be another possibility.

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Re: Railroad Workers in the 1920s

Postby Train Detainer » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:39 pm

Cori -

If you're asking about working a train or series of trains from Pittsburgh to LA, no, they wouldn't have done that as MBTA said, however things were booming in the 20s with jobs at most RRs readily available for skilled RRers as railroading was at a high point then. Growth in LA was a big draw for just about everyone looking for a change of scenery, so maybe they went west for a while.

Have you tried looking at the Railroad Retirement Board? They have records from 1936 onward available for research like yours - you might get some good info or leads. http://www.archives.gov/atlanta/public/ ... cords.html or http://www.rrb.gov/mep/genealogy.asp

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