Thursday, 4 August 2011

Ancestry adds UK Railway Employment Records, 1833-1963

Once upon a time in Britain kids didn't dream about becoming astronauts or rock stars, they fantasized about being engine drivers. In this collection of records digitized by Ancestry from the collection at The (UK) National Archives you may find evidence that your ancestors dream became a reality. Not so many daydreamed about becoming ticket collectors, but even more kids did.

The collection features selected records from the following companies that came under authority of the British Transport Commission with the 1947 Transport Act:
RAIL226: Great Central Railway Company
RAIL264: Great Western Railway Company
RAIL397: London and North Eastern Railway Company
RAIL410: London and North Western Railway Company
RAIL411: London and South Western Railway Company
RAIL414: London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
RAIL415: London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company (formerly the East Kent Railway)
RAIL426: London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company
RAIL463: Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company
RAIL491: Midland Railway Company
RAIL1156: Special Collections: Retired Railway Officers' Society

According to Ancestry: 
"records will typically list an employee’s name, station, position, birth date or age, and various other details, such as salary, date entered service, and transfer information. For example, caution books list offenses employees were written up for and include name, date, grade, station, years of service, and date of suspension if applicable. Salary and wage registers list name, name of person recommending an employee for a position, date of appointment, salary or wage, dates of pay raises or decreases, age at the time the employee joined the railways, promotions, and remarks, which can mention transfers to different stations.
Records can be searched by name, birth year, event year, station, or company. Or they can be browsed by volume. In the browse, unless otherwise identified, the books are staff registers."
With nearly two million records in the database it's one worth searching in case, as sometimes Mr. Micawber's dream will come true, "something will turn up."

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