Sunday, January 20, 2008

Researching ancestors through the railroads

An interesting article in the Tampa Tribune, "Track Down Ancestors Through Railroad History," may give you some ideas on researching ancestors who either worked for or were in some way affected by the railroads, including several resources. The rails figure into my own family history, so it is interesting and enlightening to find out which railroads traveled which routes during a particular time period. The types of occupations are also interesting. In my daughter's paternal line, we have an ancestor going from cook in 1880 to telegraph operator by 1900. Knowing an ancestor worked for the railroad can account for finding -- or looking for -- people in some far-fetched places.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

SSDI Overview

In his article, "Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Overview," Alan Smith provides a basic overview and insights into the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). The article notes that the SSDI includes some 400,000 railroad retirement records from early 1900s to 1950s. To clarify, we have this from the RootsWeb site quoted in the article, "Railroad workers were enrolled in the same Social Security program, but from 1937 to 1963 they had numbers ranging between 700 and 728 as the first three digits. In 1964 their numbers began to reflect the same geographic location as other workers. Some railroad workers received Social Security benefits, but some did not. However, it is wise to check the SSDI in any case."

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