Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Anniversary of "Black Tuesday", October 29, 1929

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Today is the anniversary of "Black Tuesday", also known as the 1929 Stock Market Crash, which precipitated the Great Depression in the United States and the Western world.  (And this year it actually fell on a Tuesday again.)  Hundreds of businesses and banks closed, and many people were out of work and unable to support their families.

From a genealogical research perspective, this can mean that families were broken up and could be living in multiple locations while parents scrambled to find ways to support themselves and their children.  It is important to keep this in mind when searching for family members in the 1930 census.

I found my paternal grandfather's family, consisting of four people, in four different locations.  My grandfather was back living at home with his mother and two siblings, working at the large textile mill which provided most of the employment in that town.  His older daughter was in the county children's home.  His younger daughter was in an entirely different county, boarding with a well-off family otherwise unconnected to my family.  (No one has been able to tell me how that connection was made and how she ended up living with them.)  And the girls' mother, my grandfather's first wife, was living in that second county near her daughter, working as a live-in private servant to another unconnected family.

How did the Great Depression affect where your family lived?

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