Research Sources for Staff of the SER, LCDR and SECR
In the course of searching for ancestors to construct a family tree many people find that a member of their family worked for the railway. These notes are intended to assist those searching the above three companies.
The local newspaper, copies of which are usually available in the local library, is a primary source if you know the date of any incident, accident, promotion, appointment or retirement. All of these would normally be reported with some incidents reaching the County or National papers. Before 1900 and even up to WW1 accident reports, inquests and the results of official enquiries were usually reported in full.
Rate books and local directories can also be found in local history collections. There is a large railway orientated collection of books and documents at the Kent County Library, Ashford Group Library, Church Road, Ashford, TH23 1QY
RAILWAY ANCESTORS FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY
Their journal Vol 6 No 4 Issue 24 Autumn 2001 concentrated on the SECR, listing Directors, Chief Officers, (some with brief biographies), accidents, important dates, PRO references, Illustrated London News snippets and some details about the NRM. Contact www.railwayancestors.fsnet.co.uk or email for a copy which is also available on CD. Be wary of the accuracy of some of the information.
RAFHSoc ‘Lundy’ King Edward Street, Barmouth, Gwynedd, LL42 1NY.
PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE ( PRO)
Access on demand but you need to make a personal visit. Such staff records that do survive are held here. References: LCDR Rail 415: SER Rail 635 and 1057: SECR Rail 633. Railway Inspectors Accident Reports: RAIL 1053. BOT Accident Reports: MT 114 and MT 6. Contact Address: PRO Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Tel 020 8392 5260.
There was no magazine specific to these railways but many references to staff are to be found in the Railway Gazette, the Railway Magazine (1897 on) and the Southern Railway Magazine (1923 on, but often referred to earlier days especially at retirement time).
BOOKS (containing research references)
Was Your Grandfather a Railwayman. Compiled and published by Tom Richards in 1988.
Railway Ancestors, A Guide to the Staff Records of the Railway Companies of England and Wales.
David T Hawkins, Alan Sutton Publishing/PRO, 1995, ISBN 0-7509-0883-1
British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer. Ian Allen. ISBN 0-7110-0320-3
www.old-maps.co.uk ; and the PRO.