The National Society Descendants of American Railroad Workers was formed in 2021 by Amanda Morris and Christopher Bowen to honor and preserve the legacy of our ancestors whose hard work enabled the expansion and prosperity of our country. We will accomplish those goals through genealogical documentation, educational programming and support for historical preservation efforts related to American railroad history.
Amanda and Christopher are a husband-and-wife team with a passion for American history and genealogy. After maintaining active roles in various societies, we realized that there was a gap in the recognition of the many hardworking men and women whose efforts contributed to settlement of the American west via the railroad.
The ancestor who inspired formation of this society was Amanda’s 3rd great-grandfather, James Robert Davis. Born in 1838 in Union Depot (now Bluff City), Sullivan County, Tennessee, he worked as an engineer for the Eastern TN, VA & GA Railroad which became the Southern Railway and ultimately Norfolk Southern. His son, Nicholas Long Davis, was a conductor for the Southern Railway in Knoxville. Several of his sons went on to work for the railroad. He died in 1884 and is buried in Morning View Cemetery in Bluff City, TN. The sound of a train whistle always called to Amanda on her road trips around the country, and she is thrilled to dedicate her work in this society to the memory of James Robert Davis. He lived a relatively short life, but everyone who joins this society in perpetuity will know of his service!
Membership is eligible to all men and women aged 18 or over who can prove lineal descent from a Railroad Worker who served between March 4th, 1825 – December 31st 1945. Youth membership is also available at a lower cost and can be upgraded to adult membership at age 18.
"This Society has been a labor of love to honor the first line in my genealogy that I ever researched. My ggg-grandfather, James Robert Davis, was the first ancestor I traced, back when genealogy required a lot of dusty files and there was no Ancestry or FamilySearch to make things easier. James Davis was the first in a line of 3 generations of railroad workers, having worked as an engineer on the Eastern TN, VA & GA Railroad that later became part of the Southern Railway (now Norfolk Southern). He is buried in Bluff City, TN, formerly known as Union Depot, not far from where the tracks cross the river. His legacy, and that of all our ancestors, will now be preserved!"