Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Was Your Ancestor Working on the Illinois Central Railroad?

If you have Chicago or Illinois connections, keep an eye on Sharon Williams' Chicago history portal/blog, "Chicago History: The Journal of an Amateur Historian." I certainly will.

I haven't begun to explore this whole site -- her posts are delightfully eclectic -- but here's one juicy microhistorical/genealogical item 'way down on her blogroll equivalent (and something I should have known about long ago), the"Digitized Book of the Week" from the library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Out of many curious postings here (further exploration and monitoring is a must), I found a year-old post on their digitized volumes of the Illinois Central Magazine (1914-1924) for employees.

In this digital treasure chest, the genealogical jewels are concentrated at the end of each issue under "Divisional News." The July 1914 news for the Illinois Division, Chicago District, includes a marriage announcement which fully names the bride but describes the groom only as "Brakeman McLaughlin." We also learn where dispatcher H. H. Weatherford just spent his vacation (Milwaukee), and where "trainmen's caller" John Wilson was about to spend his (Havana [Illinois]). Geo. Starkey secured a leave of absence from his unnamed job to visit a sick relative in Los Angeles. Good stuff. BTW, the IC magazine also profiled towns along its route.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Harold,
Thank you so much for your very kind mention! I'm so glad you found something of interest and your kind words are much appreciated. I have been thinking on including a section of links for Illinois/Chicago geneologists. Perhaps this is a good time to begin a list. Many thanks again!