Years ago I came across a book with lists of passengers passing east and west bound through I think Ogden, UT. At least I am sure it was some city in UT. They were listed by date, name, and sometimes destination. Apparently it was a major RR stop or else they transferred trains. I can't seem to be able to find it again. Since I have searched in some 100 libraries I don't recall which one.
Have you heard of it? At that time I found the names of some Goodrich ancestors who were heading to SF to board a ship to China. They were missionaries.
Google provided the following link:
Intercontinental Railway to California by Jim Smith
Here he describes the Utah connection as ol' Myrt here understands it as well: "The Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads joined on May 10, 1869 in Promontory, Utah with the ceremonial driving of the Golden Spike into the track that joined East and West. The completion of the link quickly made travel west by wagon train not only obsolete but also financially impractical. Families sold or shipped their goods west and rode in relative comfort to California."
What I didn't know without Jim's help was "The Transcontinental Railway was in operation for about a year when Volume 1 of Louis J. Rasmussen's OVERLAND TRAIN PASSENGER LISTS begins its journal of trips to California. Mr. Rasmussen stated clearly that the original records no longer exist. He gathered information about who arrived using newspaper accounts as well as Journals, diaries, letter and magazines."
Railway Passenger Lists of overland trains to San Francisco and the West by Louis J. Rasmussen.
-- Vol. 1 July 26, 1870 - November 11, 1871. 1966 ISBN 0911792-50-3
-- Vol. 2 November 12, 1871 to April 23, 1873. 1968 ISBN 0911792-51-1
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