31 October 2008

Money and Economics in Family History [Reference Shelf]

If you're anything like me, economics and finance have been center-stage in your brain of late. Of course, if I had a dollar for every ancestor of mine who worried, at some point, about their economic and financial future, I'd have a lot of dollars, and would probably still be concerned.

In honor of the money flux we all find ourselves in, here is a list of potentially useful links for researchers looking to round out the dollar-denominated side of their ancestors' lives:

  • Cost of Living and Purchase Power- from the LOC. Links and calculators that answer the question "what is that worth today?". Great for getting a better grasp of the economic identities of your ancestors. You might also try out The Inflation Calculator.

  • Cost of Living-from Harvard University. A 1936 publication covering the cost of living in the United States from 1914 to 1936. Again, cost of living puts the financial situation of your research subjects in perspective.

  • Economic Recessions Throughout History-from EOGN. A great article to bookmark and reference when researching families. Recessions precipitate job losses, movement of households, merging of households, etc... all things that we, as genealogists, are very interested in. You can also check out the Wikipedia list of previous United States recessions for more links and resources on historical economic downturns.

  • Business History Resources-from LOC. Resources, both online and off, related to researching "an old company or extinct firm". Always interesting to learn more about a company for which an ancestor worked. Or, a company for which an ancestor used to work, as the case may be.

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