Searching for Railroad Employee Records

It's a question we often hear: "My father used to work for the MoP. How can I get information on him?"

The Missouri Pacific Historical Society does not keep historical records on employees. And, we do not have access to any of this information. We have no employee history records, no employment forms, no paycheck records... nothing.

It is very rare for a historical society to be of any specific help on genealogical questions. The MPHS is like most other railroad historical societies and does not have access to records of former employees.

The MPHS stands for many things and the employees who operated and managed the railroad from start to finish are always important to the MPHS. After all, without the collective work of these individuals the MPHS wouldn't exist. Discussion and/or stories about the employees of the MP, T&P and other affiliated railroads in "The Eagle" magazine and the MPHS BB Forum is perfectly legitimate and encouraged!


Some Suggested Routes to Follow

We recommend contacting historical societies in the towns or area where you know the former employee you are interested in lived or worked. These groups possibly may have someone doing this type work that could better help your search. Another local resource is the city directory. They can usually be found online and were produced from the early 1800s up to the 1980s.

The best bet is to go the US Railroad Retirement Board website. They now have a genealogy page and, for a fee, they will perform a search. The link for this page is:

Here is a good web article we recently discovered:

An additional suggestion - go to The main section will enable you to check on almost everyone who's had a Social Security card. You can then click on the Railroad Retirement section for deceased railroaders. We have discovered a community within called RootsWeb. It may be worth investigating, as well.

Another source of information is the U.S. National Archives. The web address is . One document, in particular, will be of interest. It is Reference Information Paper 91, titled "Records Relating to North American Railroads." A PDF version of this document can be found at