I have been trying to figure out what the entry is in the Occupation column for my wife’s great-grandfather in the 1940 census. The Industry is clearly “City Subway” and the Occupation sort of looks like “Track-Man” but the way the letters are formed in the first syllable I have a feeling that is not what it is supposed to say.

For reference, here is a link to the full 1940 census page on Ancestry.

He was listed as a Signalman for the Long Island Railroad in the 1930 census, if that’s any clue. Anyone with an idea?

1940 Census Detail for Michael Duffy Job


  • avatar

    Comment by Bob — July 2, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    “Trackman” is what I guessed before I read the post. Not an implausable job title. Maybe that’s what it was. Not engineer, conductor, or brakeman as you would expect from the train crew occupations; It’s not ‘token’ since the fare was a nickel in 1940. ‘man’ ususally implies part of some kind of crew, so why not ‘track’?


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    Comment by John — July 2, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    Thanks Bob! I went through the same thought process, but was second-guessing myself as I looked at it. A few people suggested ‘Brakeman’ but I think I’m going with Trackman too.

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