Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Ancestry launches Railway Employment Records

Ancestry ( has launched a major new record set, UK Railway Employment Records 1833-1963, searchable at (or via the Occupations gateway pageat

Here's the blurb from the site:

What is included?

All of the railways included in this database were once private companies that later came under authority of the British Transport Commission with the 1947 Transport Act. The collection features selected records from the following companies:

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

Approximately 50% of the books cover the Great Western Railway, while the books covering the London and North Western Railway are more dense with records. Most records are prior to 1949, though some date later.

What can I find?

The most common record type in the database is a staff register. Others include station transfers, pension and accident records (which can include death date), apprentice records (which can include father's name), caution books, and memos.

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.

What is missing?

There are 58 pieces excluded from this collection for privacy reasons.
RAIL 264 Great Western Railway Company: Staff Records
Pieces 412, 413, 440, 442, 443, 471-522
RAIL 397 London and North Eastern Railway Company: Staff Records
Piece 13

There are currently 6 sections missing from these records. They will be added to the
database at a later date.

RAIL 264 Great Western Railway Company: Staff Records
Piece 328: Register of weekly staff No.6 London District 1905-1913
Piece 416: Birmingham District 1898-1913
Piece 415: London Division 1896-1906
Piece 417: Chester Division 1898-1909
Piece 438: Register and histories of traffic staff at stations in Wales 1872-1892

RAIL 426 London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company: Staff Records
Piece 4: Register of scale advances (adults other than 5th grade) 1941 - 1946

And there is a tonne of Scottish stuff in there! :)

(With thanks to Annabel at Ancestry)


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