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The Pennsylvania State Archives

Volunteer Relief Enrollment Cards

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company's Voluntary Relief Department was established on February 1, 1886. An insurance plan providing sick and death benefits to the worker or his family the Voluntary Relief Department was funded by the company and by voluntary contributions from the employees. The file cards of this fund are arranged in five file units and there under in alphabetical order by surname of person. These titles were written on the original card cabinet drawers. 1.) Deceased and Left Service File, 2.) Deceased and Left Service File, 3.) Left Service File, 4.) Left Service Since 1959 File, 5.) Relief Members to the Norfolk and Western Railroad Company 10/16/1964. Their subdivision by the company was apparently based upon dates and circumstances of employees' service, date of death, and federal government pension and retirement regulations. 

Within each subseries, cards are arranged in alphabetical order by name of employee, and cards have been found for workers whose employment dates back to at least 1865. Membership in this insurance program was voluntary, so not all employees of the railroad will be documented by these cards even though coverage was system wide.

Research Request Form - Volunteer Relief Enrollment Cards (PDF)

Research Request Form - Volunteer Relief Enrollment Cards (Direct Submit)