Casefile Clues

18 May 2012

Pullman Cards and Family Relationships

I have the Pullman Car Company employment records for three members of the Frame family in Chicago Illinois: Thomas, Ralph, and William.

The employment records contain places to indicate other family members in the employ of the company. Sometimes these spaces are filled out and sometimes they are left blank. Is there any significance to the fact that sometimes the relationship information is left out? Is there any significance to the fact that sometimes one family member is left out?

On the surface, it is difficult to tell. It is possible that the clerk did not want to repeat information that was already in the file. It is also possible that at the time one or more of the cards were filled out, one of the family members was not working at the company.

I'll have to look at each card separately, try and determine when it was filled out and if any other family member was laid off or not working for the company at that point in time. I have looked at these cards before, but it is apparent that I'll have to analyze them systematically in terms of the relationships that are stated.

I'm tempted to say that the omission of relatives on one card really doesn't mean all that much--especially if they are listed on others. Of course the accuracy of the information is another matter altogether.

What I need to do is to transcribe the cards that list family members--paying close attention to the date of the card.

I also need to determine if any of the Frames had a time when they were not working at the Pullman Company. That may make a difference.

We'll have an update after I have had a chance to go through the cards again.