Schlax Family Tree

My name is Peter Schlax, I am 69 years old, have been married for 50 years and have four children and four grandchildren. I worked 15 years for American Airlines and 30 years for Amtrak the railroad and am now retired. I can be contacted at:


I have created this blog to gather knowledge about my family tree for my Granddaughters. The work I have completed so far is as follows:

1. I have charted the church records from Germany that show a history of Schlax from 1666 to 1884.

2. I have charted the US census from 1870 to 1930, which shows 38 immigrations, and 127 progeny from those immigrations up to 1930. The US census is 70 years behind present by law.

3. I have identified 63 Schlax in the present German national phone book, five Schlax in the French national phone directory, and 73 Schlax in the US national white pages.

4. To fill in the census information past 1930 I am presently trying to make a chart of the social security office’s birth /death and marriage/divorce lists by state. This is not only difficult it is damn near impossible.

My interest in genealogy resulted in writing a letter to all 141 Schlax that I can identify. I feel that there are so few Schlax in the world I wrote all people with this surname that I could find to seek help in gathering this information.

I am willing to share any information I have in exchange for your assistance in filling me in on your branch of the Schlax family from 1930 through present.

I am trying to fill in the genealogical connections between living Schlax members and their ancestors listed in the 1930 census and in the immigration records from 1870 to 1930.

Any help that you can provide, listing the names and relationships of your family (siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) that will help me would be appreciated.

With this expanded family tree, I can then draw connections between the German church records and US census chart data to complete the goal of delineating 352 years of Schlax history.

Please email me at the above address, or leave a comment below if you have any information or questions.

Some Information about Peter P. Schlax

The Train From Randolph Street by Norm Carlson in First and Fastest Summer 2006- an article with a picture of Peter Schlax in 1926 taking the first electric commuter train trip (on p. 6) .

A page from a book on the History of Illinois Central with an entry for Peter Schlax p 594  History of the Illinois Central Railroad Company and representative employees  by William K. Ackerman, Railroad Historical Company, Illinois Central Railroad Company

A Biography of Engine 1421 (the steam locomotive that Peter Schlax engineered)

Biography of Engine No. 1 42 1

Chicago, June 4, 1917.
Mr. W. S. Williams :

I give you below data which I think is quite interesting concerning engine
1421 in suburban service since 1891 and assigned to Engineer Peter Schlax
during these 26 years. Since Mr. Schlax has taken a great deal of pride in
keeping up the engine in his charge.
1891 built by I. C. R. R., Weldon shops, No. 279 later changed to No.

221 and in 1900 again changed to No. 1421.

Amount. Miles,Made.

From 1891 to 1894 engine 104,500

Jan., 1894, received general repairs $ 1,288.19]

March, 1895, received light repairs 167.38 \ 197,100

Aug., 1895, received general repairs .” 790. 09J

Feb., 1900, received general repairs 1,551.37 85,800

Nov., 1902, received thorough repairs 2,044.76 88,138

April, 1905, received general repairs 1,770.02 83,945

Oct., 1905, received light repairs 109.31]

Dec., 1905, received light repairs 268.341 77,677

Sept., 1907, received thorough repairs 2,076. 78J

April, 1909, received light repairs 312.75)

Oct., 1909, received light repairs 187.40}- 79,401

April, 1910, received thorough repairs .. 2,248.10J

May, 1912, received thorough repairs 2,123.95] 73,644

Sept., 1912, received light repairs 540.06 }>

Nov., 1912, received light repairs 102. 68J 69,458

July, 1914, received general repairs ‘. 3,225.42

April, 1916, received light repairs : 289.29 78,025

June, 1917, in Burnside shops for general repairs

Total cost $19,095.89

Total miles 937,688

Yearly average expense $734.45

Yearly average, miles 36,065

Cost of repairs per mile $.02

D. E. Hilgartner.

This is a photo of a 2-4-4T locomotive that is similar to 1421 that Peter ran. The 1421 was made by Illinois Central but this one was made by Rogers. This was found at This locomotive is at the Illinois Railway Museum.

These are images from the Chicago Historical Society of the Street Car strike in 1915 at Randolph Street Station. This was the station that Peter worked at. Because the street cars weren’t running, the commuter trains were packed. This may mean that Peter was the first “Packer” in the family.