Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Money and Cost of Living


Now we know what our ancestors did for a living, about what his wages were, but how far did those wages go?  Did husband and wife both have to work to make ends meet? Did the children have to work also? Remember I mentioned in the last article that on the 1911 Census they asked for occupations of persons 10 years of age and over. It was sad that many children were deprived of their childhood because they had to work to feed the family. Money, or lack thereof, had an impact on the way your ancestors lived.

Livres tournois were the first currency of the time in Canada, so called because they were first minted at the Abbey in the Touraine region of France.

Each livre was divided into 20 sols (sous after 1715) each of which was divided into 12 deniers.  Eight ounces of gold (a mark) was worth 740 livres, 9 sols; eight ounces of silver was worth 51 livres, 2 sols, 3 deniers. It took about 200 livres per year per person to live comfortably.

The first cheques were actually written on the backs of playing cards.  Later they used Treasury Notes like this one for 48 livres.   


Do you think your recent ancestor may have left some money in a bank?  When people die or move and their accounts aren't closed out, the money goes to the Bank of Canada.  I found that one of my aunts had over $200 in an account and I told my cousin so she could apply for it. You can search by name for unclaimed money at the Bank of Canada Website here .    

The Bank of Canada maintains custody of all balances of $1,000 or more for 100 years at the Bank of Canada after the 10-year inactivity period at the original bank. Unclaimed balances under $1,000 are retained for thirty years after the 10-year period. Balances must be claimed before the period in Bank of Canada custody ends.

If the balance remains unclaimed until the end of the prescribed custody period, the Bank of Canada transfers the funds to the Receiver General for Canada.

Happy treasure hunting!


Relevant Links:

New France PDF (Bank of Canada)

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