Researching a family business? #general


A. E. Jordan
 

Anyone have any experience / tips on researching the history of a family
business?

The business I am looking for was set up in the 1920s in Brooklyn, New York
and remained in the family's hands for 70 years. It actually still
functions but in the 1990s was sold out to a big corporation. The family tells
me any records were long since lost / destroyed at their level so I am
trying to look for public records for them.

I am especially looking for details on the family ownership in the first
generation. I got the incorporation papers >from the New York State
Department of State which keeps this kind of thing and they were not helpful.
Actually a giant yawn I think.

I tried researching the business at the local courthouse where the records
are kept -- in this case in Brooklyn. Nothing showed up there and that's
what led me to the state level.

Not sure what else I should be trying to see if there are any public
details on the ownership of a family business.

I assume the tax records are not public and even if they are I don't know
if they would shed any light on the division of the family's ownership in
the business.

I have searched the local newspapers and found some advertisements about
the business. Not much else.

One of the family members went bankrupt around the time the business got
going. Not sure if it would be worth trying to retrieve those records, if
they even still exist 80 years later.

Curious if anyone else has any experience/tips in trying to research a
family business.

Thanks

Allan Jordan

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