Monday, 16 November 2015

Ledgers & Account Books

Many businesses these days use computers and maybe a program like QuickBooks to record their daily transactions and keep track of inventory.

When my parents started their antique business in the 60's they had my Mom's Aunt, an accountant, do the books. I could not believe the size of those ledgers! When open it took up almost the whole width of the table. Each item bought and sold was painstakingly recorded by hand into the ledger. Ledgers come in all shapes and sizes.

Your ancestors dealt with their local businesses from day to day and possibly had their names written in ledgers.  Merchants, funeral homes, apothecaries, doctors, etc all may have kept ledgers that survived. Perhaps your ancestor did work for a company or the town?

Libraries or university and museum archives sometimes have local business account ledgers.  My husband's great grandfather owned a General Store in Central, Minnesota, near the Rainy River.  He probably kept a ledger like one of those listed at World Cat Library. Some accounting books may also be found on websites like eBay. 

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