Thanks Robert.I saw a reference to th 1879 History of Coles County.The one my aunt, Catherine Wrenn Lafferty had must have been published between 1902 & 1907 because on page 9 it gave a sketch of my grandfather, John Wrenn and gave my father's birthdate as 1902.My Aunt Catherine, who was born in 1907, was not listed. My ggf, Patrick Shannahan,was a track walker between Charleston and Loxa on what we knew as the Big 4 during the 1860's & 70's.He died at 61 in 1881. My ggm was Julia Mullane.(Mullen) According to a cousin A brother, James Michael Mullane, moved down the line from St. Mary's, Indiana to Charleston, Greencreek, Nameoki, Bethalto,Wann(Witt)? and East Alton as a section hand.He went to work as a brakeman on the St. Louis & Iron Mountain line and was killed on the job at Pevely, Missouri in 1896. I found baptism records for two of James kids in Charleston but couldn't find him in the 1880 census when he was supposed to be working at "Robinson Creek 2 miles east of Mattoon".I think the story may have gotten a hot box.
My dad worked in the Nickle Plate Round House in Charleston, rebuilding fireboxes, until 1926 or so when they went out on a nationwide strike.The only problem was that most of the rest of the nation forgot to go.The Nickle Plate sent him a letter telling him not to set foot on their property again; so he became a Brown Shoe employee at Charleston, Murphysboro, and Dixon.I applied for a caller job in Charleston about 1943, but didn't get it. I started to school at EIU, and then the Navy developed an interest in me.I hope I'm not using up all of the website's storage. Bob