Inflation and Genealogy

One of the websites mentioned in the previous article, is definitely one genealogists should book mark: www.westegg.com/inflation – it covers inflation in the USA between the years 1800 through 2005, and lets you calculate what something bought in say, 1825, would cost in today’s dollars.

Here’s an example from the website (look at $30 in 1865, a typical monthly salary for many professions):

What cost $30 in 1865 would cost $354.24 in 2005.

Also, if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2005 and 1865,
they would cost you $30 and $2.54 respectively.

Where this comes into play for a genealogist – when you come across such things as bills, receipts, or the mention of how much something cost in an old letter, you can convert it to today’s dollars, and attach that information to it. It’d make for an interesting presentation at a family reunion, or perhaps you could use it to get kids involved have them go through old records you’ve copied or scanned, and convert the money.

As far as other nations – if you have any information concerning inflation in years gone by, by all means include it in a comment here – you don’t need to be registered to make a comment.

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