Question of the Week: Do you have any ancestors who were involved in a travel-related industry?

+17 votes

Was anyone in your family tree involved in a travel-related business?

Please tell us about them below, on Facebook, or on any social media by sharing the question image.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)

29 Answers

+13 votes

One of my uncles, Morgan Hildreth, was a driver for Greyhound Bus for a while, then had his own limousine service. A few relatives were railroad men, such as my great-grandfather, James D. Gilchrist, who was a carpenter for the GM&O (Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad.) I don't know if GM&O was a passenger line, transported materials, or both. (Something new to research!)

by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (458k points)
+12 votes

My maternal grandfather, Charles Gray Jr., worked with the railroad industry, but I don’t remember what he did.

by Tommy Buch G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+12 votes
My great-grandfather, Albert Sidney Dowding, was a coach driver, and his father Horace was a bus driver. Other than that, not really.
by Anonymous User G2G6 Mach 3 (31.5k points)
+18 votes

My grandmother Pearl Lovelace’s first husband Dow M. Bray was a fireman on the Missouri, Oklahoma & Gulf passenger train. He was killed when the train collided with a Frisco train near Galena, Kansas. They had only been married for eighteen months, but she never forgot him, and they are buried together about a mile from my home.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (632k points)
Alexia what a great stone, I am so sad to read about your grandmother first husband, that was killed when he train

How very sad for your grandmother to look her husband after only been married for eighteen month.

Thank you for sharing the stone and story my sweet friend
Thank you sweet Susan for you comment. They started the new part of the cemetery right by their stone. When I go to a funeral, I park next to it, so I see it often. She stayed friends with his family throughout her life.
+13 votes

2G Uncle  John Truslow was born in WV in 1845, and began his career with the Railroad in 1880 in Knoxville, TN.  By 1887 he was appointed Southern Passenger Agent for the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe in Chattanooga, TN.  In 1878 he was transferred to Chicago, IL, with the same job title, and then to Cincinnati, OH in 1880 and on to Kansas City in 1890 and eventually was appointed the General Passenger and Freight Agent of the California Central Railway in Santa Barbara, CA (a division of the Santa Fe).  

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 7 (71.5k points)
+14 votes

My mother's father, Bryan Sharpless, spent most of his career working with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in Toronto, working his way up from "railway clerk" at the time of his 1929 marriage to City Passenger Agent in the fifties. (He also worked in transportation with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during WW II in Ottawa.)

The 1851 England census shows my 3rd great grandfather, Rowland Galliers, to have been an innkeeper and beer-seller in Church Stretton in Shropshire (and, if your conveyance blew a tire, he was also a wheelwright).

by Richard Hill G2G6 Mach 4 (46.3k points)
+12 votes

My Uncle Bud Martin Anthonson opened his airport in 1936. He flew and repaired small planes, and had a few stored at his field.

One of his sons worked as a small aircraft mechanic. Another ran a float plane service in the Adirondack Mountains. My aunt had a heavy duty sewing machine for working on the airplane fabric.

by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (477k points)
+16 votes

More than 100 trains a day used to go through Chatham, New York. My great-grandfather Dick Smith drove passengers between the train station and the hotels. This picture shows the old station, which was replaced in 1887.

by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Pilot (182k points)
edited by Joyce Vander Bogart

Joyce,  Curious about how they would climb aboard that lofty carriage in that fancy attire?   steps

I have no idea! That's a good research project for a rainy day. John, I really appreciate your comments. You're thinking about things.

Research suggests two options. 1) There was a step on the side of the carriage. or 2) There was a stepstool like those used for boarding trains. The picture in my family album was labeled "Dick Smith and the wagon, Old Chatham Depot" but looking at the picture I see two other wagons, so Dick just drove one of a fleet of them. There are no more passenger trains through Chatham.

Joyce, Added steps above. PS We're on a roll now.devil

I've never seen such a thing, but that makes perfect sense. Thanks!
+11 votes

My grandmother's cousin, Louise (Simonds) Orvis, was the proprietor of a hotel and resort in Manchester, Vermont. It had been established by her husband's family, and she inherited it and took it over after her husband's untimely death in 1917. Apparently the hotel was a popular summer destination for wealthy people from New York City (Manchester still attracts many New Yorkers). It had acquired some fame when First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her son visited in 1863. Louise's innovations included the addition of a golf course and an airfield, but these expensive investments did not work out well for her when the Great Depression hit.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
Who was the fly fisherman?
According to , the fly fishing business was started in 1856 by Charles F. Orvis, also in Manchester, Vermont.

I never knew any of my relatives from this family, but I did know that we had some sort of a relationship to the Orvis name.
This is why I don't have  more "begats" on my family tree. I keep getting interested in things like " my grandmother's cousin's husband's grandfather's fly fishing business."
+11 votes

My grandfather worked on ships taking mail to South America and his younger brother and one of his son's both worked on the cruise liners.

I have my uncle's discharge book. 

Here is my grandfather as a young man

by Hilary Gadsby G2G6 Pilot (244k points)
Oh, my! What an interesting photograph! Can you post it onto this page so everyone sees it?
+9 votes

My great-grandfather, Rufus m. Galloway, started in the logging business here in the mountains when he was young, and worked his way up to the point that he made business trips to South American. His profile has his passport photo. The passport application states that the trip was "... for the following purposes: Dutch Guiana, British Guiana, Cuba, sawmill work. I intend to leave from the port of New York sailing on board the Mayaro on August 28, 1919."

by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)

Pip, One of my (Hayes) toy logging trucks.cheekyHayes

+14 votes

A brother of my great-great grandfather Hans Friedrich Lewerenz immigrated to the USA in 1882.

He worked there in Illinois as railroad construction worker.

On 27 May 1891 he had an deadly accident; he was run over by a train  of the "Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad".

This was recorded in the German Illinois-Staatszeitung (state newspaper) on 28 May 1891

Sorry, two weeks and nearly the same answer, but Hans Friedrich Lewerenz matches both questions. He had a hard work and worked for a travel-related industry.

by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
+11 votes
My grandfather, Benjamin Brittain, was a locomotive engineer on the South African Railway. I am a retired airline pilot and my wife was a former flight attendant.
by Steve Brittain G2G Crew (530 points)
+11 votes

My great great great grandfather Samuel Bailey was brakeman and later conductor on the Passumpsic RR in Vermont.  In 1851 he was in a freight train accident and proceeded to save the following passenger train by running to a nearby farmhouse to fetch a lantern to wave on the tracks.

My great great grandfather Napoleon Descoteaux also worked for the railroad.  He was not so lucky, eventually having his head crushed between two cars, leading to his death several months later in 1913.

by Brian Lamothe G2G6 Mach 3 (33.9k points)
Both of the photos are true treasures, much like the subjects’ lives.
+9 votes
My great grandpa, Chauncy Wilbur Mahon, was a moonshine runner between Southeastern Ohio and Kentucky/West Virginia.
by Karen Lorentz G2G1 (1.2k points)
"Moonshine runner" is a travel-related industry I never thought about before! Very interesting.
+8 votes
My parents owned and operated a small motel in Paradise, MI, from 1977 to 1989. We had people from all over the world stay there as the area is a popular destination for the families of foreign students at UM and MSU. I believe there were some other relatives that worked for railroads in both US and Canada, more freight than passenger, though.
by Arlene Thompson G2G2 (2.9k points)
+7 votes
My family is descended from a long line of mariners on both my mother's and father's side. For example, my latest male Stillwell ancestor, Capt. James Stillwell

was a master mariner and a ferry boat captain. He lived on Staten Island, New York, USA and helped many people travel in the New York City area as they crossed various bodies of water between islands and the mainland.
by Marion Ceruti G2G6 Pilot (218k points)
+9 votes

Yes my 1st cousin 4 x removed, Edwin Richards, the entire Richards family was involved in metal working from the late 1700s to 1975. They made every possible type of nut and bolt, plus springs for carriages, tire rims, axles etc. 

The company also made all of the non engine related parts for the first Daimler made in Britain. This drawing is an 1897 newspaper ad.

First British built Daimler Autocar

by M Ross G2G6 Pilot (396k points)
edited by M Ross
M Ross,   Very interesting.
+7 votes
This question feels like it has my name written on it. One of the few famous people I know that I'm descended from is Francis Drake, the first captain to circumnavigate the world (Magellan died halfway through).
by Anonymous Schmitt G2G1 (1.1k points)
edited by Anonymous Schmitt
Sir Francis Drake is not known to have had any children, either legitimate or illegitimate. See here:
Good catch! I'm not directly descended from him, but he is something like my 1st cousin 10 times removed.
+8 votes
My grandpa, Wilbur Silas Carder was Safe Driver of the Year 3 years in a row for the National Transit Company & that was back in the days when trucking was not very safe & most companies did not have safety programs.
by Deborah Mayes G2G6 (7.0k points)

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