For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

Genealogy

The Society frequently gets enquiries from people researching their family history. The Society is keen to help wherever possible but we must stress that we hold no records of individual employees of the GER or its related companies, so cannot answer enquiries about specific individuals.

However, we do offer a service for genealogists who wish to search the Great Eastern Railway Magazine for any references to a GER employee in the period 1911-1926, see here for more information. Similarly, we also now offer a search service for reference to staff in the LNER Magazine 1927-1947, see here. For details of this service, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in the first instance. We encourage users of this service to make a small donation to the Society for succcessful searches.

Railway staff records are held at The National Archives (TNA) at Kew and these include some later records from the GER, mainly those that were handed over to the LNER at the Grouping. You may wish to search their on-line catalogue before visiting Kew. Most GER staff records are in RAIL227.

However, the GERS does have a good deal of archive material, mostly dealing with the railway itself. These have been deposited at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford. The general public can refer to these documents and they can be searched using SEAX, the Essex Records database. Furthermore, the Essex Record Office also keeps copies of historical newspapers. In the main, these are transcribed onto microfiche for easy browsing.

To search SEAX go here.

To read more about the GERS collection go here.

Some other sources of family history information relating to railways include:

(Website appears to be password protected) The purpose of the Railway Ancestors Family History Society is to help members trace their family ancestry in England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland, and also British railwaymen overseas, by informing them of records, documents, books, special collections, etc, that exist in the Record Depositories and by discovering and investigating previously unknown sources.


  • The book Was your grandfather a railwayman? - a directory of railway archive sources for family historians by Tom Richards

ISBN 1860060145, published by Federation of Family History Societies, 4th edition 2002, price £6.95. This gives brief details of the staff records held at The National Archives. 

  • The book Railway Records - a guide to sources by Cliff Edwards

ISBN 1903365104, published by The National Archives, 2001, price £14.99. This is a comprehensive guide to railway records. Available from the TNA at the TNA bookshop.

  • The book Railway Ancestors: A Guide to the Staff Records of the Railway Companies of England and Wales, 1822-1947 by David Hawkings

ISBN 0750908831, published 1995 by Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd/The Public Record Office. Covering similar ground to the above titles, this is a comprehensive guide primarily based on TNA's collections.

Records of the three main railway unions held at Warwick University.

This comprehensive guide to genealogy in the British Isles has a page on railways and railway workers in Norfolk, see here.

For staff who worked on railway shipping services, the National Maritime Museum records may assist.

This well-known genealogy magazine published an article Internet resources on railway staff in their February 2005 edition. In March and April 2006, they published two articles on railwaymen, drawing a good deal from our 'close neighbour' the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway. Back issues can be purchased here.

Data at the National Railway Museum

If you are a complete beginner at family history, you might like to visit Ancestor-Search.info, which will give you guidance on how to proceed.