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I'm a new member and wondered if anyone may be able to help me with a query regarding the railway at York?
I know from my research that the line first came to York around 1839, and I am hoping that someone might be able to tell me which iron foundries were involved in the work of either making the track, or making component parts of the trains (wheels etc)?
Were the foundries that were awarded contracts to work on the York railway always local, or could some have been from further afield? If so, would they have brought in their own workers or employed local people?
I am trying to solve the mystery of why my 3x grandfather, William Whipby Heslop, moved from Stockton to York some time after July 1838, moving back up north to Middlesbrough by June 1840, where he then lived for the rest of his life (as far as I know!)
I would never have known that he lived for such a short period in York if it hadn't been for the sad death of his baby son, from measles, in June 1839. The baby is buried in York cemetery.
One suggestion that has been given to me is that he could have worked for the railway in his job as an iron moulder, and been temporarily moved to York to work on the new line.
I'd be so grateful for any help, suggestions, or thoughts on this possibility!
09-12-2007, 5:09 PM
If you're still looking for information on the york railway line, I don't know if you knew that the National Railway Museum is at York. They are obviously very knowledgable about all the various aspects of railway history, especially, I'd imagine, in York. They have a website with a section specifically for reseach and archives - go to http://www.nrm.org.uk/research/index.asp. There is also a section within this for researching railway ancestors and details for you to get in touch with them if you don't find what you're looking for online.
Hope this helps. Good luck with your searching!
Rebecca, thanks for your reply. I have been to the Railway Museum at York in the past, and it had never occurred to me to ask them any questions! I didn't know about their website, so I'm going to check that out now. Fingers crossed, it would be wonderful if I could find my 3xgrandfather lurking in their records! Thanks so much again. Janice
09-12-2007, 6:18 PM
This is the general approach in answering questions like this -
1. What was the name of the company?
That's easy - Google tells us that it was the York & North Midland Railway
2. Where are the records?
This is where the National Register of Archives can work its magic.
Call up the NRA
Do a Corporate Name Search and enter something like "York North Midland"
Looking good...one record found. Click on the company name and you get a list of the repositories holding records. Of these, the National Archives is the only place that looks as if it might be relevant.
You can click on the link to the National Archives catalogue and look at the details of what they have.
Over to you!
[You can argue that this was a long way round, but this approach is one that will work with a wide range of companies and one that makes it reasonably clear what's going on].
09-12-2007, 6:20 PM
That's ok. I just looked at the website in more detail myself (I have railway ancestors too, although mine are from County Durham) and realised that they don't actually have any records online. Apologies for that! Obviously, you can email them and ask. However, if there was anything you felt would be much easier to find by actually going to the museum and if you live too far away for that to be feasible, I live in York and would be happy to do some investigating. I'm afriad I don't have time for extensive research but I may well be dropping in some time anyway!
Thank you Peter for your input - much appreciated and I'm going to have a go at that next. After posting my message I took a look at the website that Rebecca mentioned and realised that I wouldn't be able to find my ancestor in their records online - if only it was that easy! Still, the more difficult the search is the more fun and excitement there is when you find something. And Rebecca, at least you've made me think about asking at the museum which is something I might not have thought about myself (duh!) I live about an hour away from York and visit reasonably often so I will make sure I pop in next time with a host of questions to test their experts.
Thank you very much for your offer - if you're there anyway, the main question I would like answered, which is more general than specific, is - when the railway was being built in 1838-39, were gangs of men brought in from other parts of the country to work on it, or to provide their expertise? If the answer is yes, then this makes it more likely that my 3x grandfather went to York for that reason and then returned home once the job was done and will go a long way to filling in a gap in his story.
If the answer is no, then that throws up more questions because I don't know why he would have upped sticks and moved to York with his family for such a short period and then returned home. If it was because of his job but nothing to do with the railway, then why did he do it? And how did he hear of jobs there anyway?
I'd better stop there because I could go on all night!
Thanks to you both for your interest and help.
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