One of the current client projects at Raincross Information Services involves research into a subject's railroad employment history. This person was a maintenance foreman for the Arizona Eastern Railroad around 1917-1919.
So why is his name coming up in the California, Railroad Employment Records, 1862-1950 database at Ancestry.com?
The answer sits in the "About" section of the database:
The subject was employed by Arizona Eastern Railroad, which was a subsidiary of California-based Southern Pacific.
There are dozens of these records for the particular employee being researched. They detail his position, his pay, his deductions, and employment notes.
Websites make it quick and easy to search a name in multiple databases at once, but this convenience can also hinder your research results. Whether at Ancestry, FamilySearch, or any other multi-database website, be sure to browse databases separately and read the descriptions of what's contained within. You just may find your research subjects are somewhere you didn't expect them to be.
Amy Lenertz, MLIS is the founder of Raincross Information Services.