Friday, January 11, 2019

Trover Duke, a Railroad Employee

In November of this past year, I had the good fortune of attending a Legacy Family Tree webinar entitled Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA.  In my research, I'd encountered streetcar operators but not any cousins or ancestors who worked for the railroad.  None the less I thought it would be good to know because you just never know when the opportunity to research a  railroad worker will arise.  One of my ongoing projects is identifying the people in old photos that were in my paternal grandmother's collection.   I'd scanned a small picture that was identified as Trover Duke-- a friend of one of my aunts.  As most of the people that were friends with Dad's family from the 1920s -1960s had ties to Old Hickory, TN  or the  Dupont Company, I had started a tree containing all of the friends, neighbors, and associates.  I searched for Trover Duke in the 1920-1940 census records.   Trover was in Tennessee until the 1940s when I find him in San Bernadino County, California working for the ATSF Railroad.  He's in the household of a widow, Margaret Black.

It shows his place of employment as the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad and lists his job description as Brakeman.  One key thing I also noted is that he was in the same house in 1935 so he has been in that location for at least 5 years.  My initial search using the main search at Ancestry didn't yield much beyond the previously mentioned census records.  Now I knew which databases might be most relevant and could search them individually.  So I headed to the Card Catalog and looked for records concerning Railroad workers.   I found his employment record in the California, Railroad Employment Records, 1862-1950.  I LOVE how much information this sheet gives.  I did not find him in the

I checked several other of the databases that the search pulled when I had searched on the keyword RAILROAD but didn't find a listing at least where I could tell that it was him.  I need to check some other sites for more information when I have more time.


1940 U.S. Census, San Bernadino County, California, population schedule, Needles, Enumeration District(ED) 36-59, sheet 2A,  p. 839(stamped), household 33, line 18, Trover Duke; imaged at Ancestry ( : accessed 11 January 2019) citing National Archives microfilm publication T627  roll 290. California, Railroad Employment Records, 1862-1950.  ( : accessed 11 January 2019). Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

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