Monthly Archives: December 2021

Railway Children – Clinton and Judge

Our family has a very proud family history of service on the Irish national railway systems.

Starting with our great grandfather John Clinton, who married into another railway family headed by our great grandfather, John Judge. John Clinton’s brother, our granduncle, also served on the railways, as did descendants of John Judge.

The network of Irish Railways in 1908. (Image Wikimedia Commons)

Railway services began in Ireland in 1837 and by the late 19th century there was a comprehensive rail network providing transport for goods and livestock as well as passengers. Tens of thousands were engaged in building the network and thousands more were employed in operating it.

Railway service makes for interesting family research as families frequently moved from one location to another, meaning siblings were often born in different locations. These were good jobs and in many cases accommodation was provided, a huge plus for any family.

Moves were for a variety of reasons – as well as on promotion or to accommodate growing families, transfers could have been for disciplinary reasons which in some cases resulted in demotion, permanent or temporary. and in come cases staff were dismissed for major breaches of the code of conduct.

With the help of birth, marriage, death and census records it was possible to map the station locations for some of our family. A long awaited very helpful visit to the Irish Railway Records Society in Dublin added to our knowledge and resulted in this first draft of a map of the places in which they lived.

Newtownforbes Railway Station, Co Longford where our grandfather was Stationmaster, and where at least three of his grandchildren (including me 🙂 ) were born. His son, our uncle, succeeded him as Stationmaster here. (Image thesilvervoice)

In the window below is a map of locations we could identify, which you can explore here or in more detail at this link. We know there probably are more, and would appreciate any input!

I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Irish Railway Records Archive at Huston Station and in particular the help of Norman Gamble in facilitating a visit to their archives and tracing the Clinton records.


Filed under Family History, Genealogy, Ireland, Irish History