Genealogy Questions: Early 20th Century Balt Railroad Jobs

Discussion relating to the B&O up to it's 1972 merger into Chessie System. Visit the B&O Railroad Historical Society for more information. Also discussion of the C&O up to 1972. Visit the C&O Historical Society for more information. Also includes the WM up to 1972. Visit the WM Historical Society for more information.
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bdc63
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:53 am

Genealogy Questions: Early 20th Century Balt Railroad Jobs

Post by bdc63 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:59 pm

Hi all. I've embarked on a genealogy study for my husband's family. One my his family members seems to have been employed by the railroads in Baltimore (or maybe Streetcars?), and I'm hoping someone here could provide me with some very basic information as this is something I'm totally unfamiliar with.

Per a Balt city telephone directory search, I was able to find the following "jobs" for Aretas Hughlett, my husband's great-grandfather:

1906 -1909 Clk (I believe "clerk")
1910 - 1915 Foreman
1916 - 1919 Conductor
and in 1920 he became a carpenter for the remainder of his life

So, my questions
- am I correct that clerk, foreman and conductor would all be train related jobs? would that be the correct job progression?
- would the "foreman" and the "conductor" actually be riding on the trains?
- was something happening in Baltimore in 1919 - 1920 (that would have made him go look for another career at the age of 43)?
- was there a rail link between Baltimore and Chestertown during that time (it may solve another family mystery)?

Any info or advice would be much appreciated!

poppyl
Posts: 616
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:56 pm

Re: Genealogy Questions: Early 20th Century Balt Railroad Jo

Post by poppyl » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:17 pm

Welcome to the forum. Not sure how much help I can give you but maybe I can steer you in some directions.

In terms of the job titles that you listed, the only "for sure" rail operating job would be conductor. Clerks were just that -- desk jobs. Foreman usually denoted a supervisory job -- shops, equipment maintenance, track maintenance, etc. Given the list of jobs that you have provided, I would look into the city streetcar system as possibly more likely than the railroads. His other jobs don't indicate, on the surface, any extensive road operating experience which would be a prerequisite for a railroad conductor with the possible exception of commuter rail -- possibly on the Western Maryland Railway.

If you think that he may have worked for the B&O, contact the B&O Museum in Baltimore. They have historical employment rosters for the railroad. Another source if the Western Maryland looks like a possibility, is the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society in Union Bridge, MD. They also have some employee lists. Not sure about the Baltimore trolley system but I would search it on-line and maybe try the city's main library.

Poppyl

mmi16
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: USA

Re: Genealogy Questions: Early 20th Century Balt Railroad Jo

Post by mmi16 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:37 pm

bdc63 wrote:Hi all. I've embarked on a genealogy study for my husband's family. One my his family members seems to have been employed by the railroads in Baltimore (or maybe Streetcars?), and I'm hoping someone here could provide me with some very basic information as this is something I'm totally unfamiliar with.

Per a Balt city telephone directory search, I was able to find the following "jobs" for Aretas Hughlett, my husband's great-grandfather:

1906 -1909 Clk (I believe "clerk")
1910 - 1915 Foreman
1916 - 1919 Conductor
and in 1920 he became a carpenter for the remainder of his life

So, my questions
- am I correct that clerk, foreman and conductor would all be train related jobs? would that be the correct job progression?
- would the "foreman" and the "conductor" actually be riding on the trains?
- was something happening in Baltimore in 1919 - 1920 (that would have made him go look for another career at the age of 43)?
- was there a rail link between Baltimore and Chestertown during that time (it may solve another family mystery)?

Any info or advice would be much appreciated!
There was no direct rail link between Baltimore & Chestertown - however, there may have been cross Bay ferry service.

In addition to the B&O and Western Maryland, the Pennsylvania RR, the Canton RR and the Curtis Bay RR's operated in and around the City of Baltimore.
Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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