One of the great 19th century developments in the United States was the railroad industry. When the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads joined at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869 and thus made the transcontinental railway a reality, it was a monumental day in the nation’s history.
You may have had an ancestor who was employed by a railroad. If so, you will want to locate employee records, which can be a good source of genealogical information. Here is a good link to locating railroad employee records on the Genealogy Today website.
It has articles and links to employee records for various railroads, links to related organizations, and additional resources.
I also came across a helpful link on the http://www.catskillarchive.com that is “A Study of Railway Transportation—For Primary and Intermediate Grades” by the Association of American Railroads, 1942. It has photos and articles about various aspects of the railroad industry. Where else could you find a swell picture like this one of a conductor and engineer comparing watches?
Even if you don’t have an ancestor who was employed by a railroad, you will want to learn about the railways that would have impacted their lives. The Library of Congress Railroad Maps Collection, 1828-1900 is searchable by keyword, geographic location, and railroad line, among other things.
Enjoy some train sounds while you look for your railroading ancestors, courtesy of the Catskill Archive. Click on the numbers below: