After I became aware of this resource, I immediately thought of my 2nd great-uncle, Joseph Carr, who spent most of his life in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and had definitely worked for a railroad. I searched the index for him and then contacted the National Archives at Atlanta to request his file. In less than a week, I received the information via email.
Of most interest to me were: (1) the list of Joseph's occupations with The Pennsylvania Railroad Company as shown in the image below; (2) the discovery that the two middle initials of his wife Clara M.A. Carr, my 2nd great-aunt, stood for Marie Antoinette; (3) the confirmation that his parents' names were John and Martha Storm Carr; and (4) the N.J. address of the son of Joseph and Clara in 1955.
If you think these records might help with your family research, here are the steps for requesting this information:
- Search the Midwest Genealogy Center's free index; try searching using only the initial of your ancestor's first name since it appears that many are recorded that way;
- Print the page that matches your ancestor, or make a note of the information provided;
- Visit the National Archives at Atlanta website for an overview of these records and then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org giving the details you found in Step 2 above;
- The National Archives at Atlanta will confirm the existence of the file and provide an estimate of the cost of copying the file; they gave me the option of the entire file or just 25 of the most genealogical relevant pages; they also gave me the option of receiving the pages via email.
If you have a railroad worker in your family tree, you may want to find out if these records have any great information for you!