06 September 2011
In partnership with The National Archives (TNA), Ancestry has released a major new database of railway records, detailing the car
In partnership with The National Archives (TNA), Ancestry has released a major new database of railway records, detailing the careers of almost two million people who helped to make the Industrial Revolution possible.
The Railway Employment Records 1833-1963 collection not only lists the names of the workers, but also their home station, dates of birth and information on their career progressions, including details of salary increases, rewards, fines or suspensions, and even comments on their character and behaviour.
Many joined the service as labourers, cleaners or attendants, before working their way up the ranks to the coveted job of train driver, often taking more than 20 years to do so. Despite the achievement of such a goal the job itself was poorly paid at just 8 shillings a day – the equivalent of just £10,000 a year today.
Working for the railways was dangerous and the rail companies were strict, with fines imposed for behaviour deemed irresponsible or dangerous.
The majority of the records, sourced from some of the biggest rail companies such as the Great Western Railway, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, the London and North Eastern Railway and the Southern Railway, are for the post-Second World War period.
Caroline Kimbell, head of licensing at TNA, said: ‘Many families will find railway ancestors here, and the level of detail in these records makes them a valuable online resource for historians and rail enthusiasts alike.’
Also on the Ancestry front, a public beta test of the forthcoming 2012 update to the Family Tree Maker software can now be downloaded here. The new version will provide a new ‘TreeSync’ function that will facilitate the update of a tree hosted on the Ancestry platform at the same time as being worked on via your home PC.
By Chris Paton, originally published in Family Tree October 2011