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Mark Cross Uncovers the Rich History of Colonial Currency at Jamboree '23

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Mark A. Cross brings a wealth of knowledge to Jamboree 2023 when he presents "Colonial Currency: New Money for a New Country" on Saturday, October 7, from 9 to 10 a.m. Cross's presentation is part of the Southern California Genealogical Society's (SCGS) three-day annual conference, Jamboree 2023.

According to Cross, money in the colonies and early America was inconsistent for many reasons, which he will cover in his fascinating exploration. Wills and land records provide financial information about our ancestors. In early America, the currency in transactions was sometimes from other countries, even after the Revolutionary War. In England, the Crown and investors considered the colonies a necessary but prosperous evil, as they made money off the colonists. Trade was for the benefit of the home country. Colonial mints were banned, money was coin only, and most was shipped back to England for payment of taxes. As the colonies developed, trade changed, and there were many political debates about

acceptable forms of money. Paper money was not a foregone conclusion but developed in the colonies despite the objections of the Crown and Parliament. Cross will help you learn how the American Colonies and a new country changed currency for America, England, and the world.

Discover How Your Ancestors Handled Their Finances

By attending his presentation, Cross hopes that attendees will "Understand a little better the coins used by your ancestors in early America," he explains, adding, "I have a land deed for an ancestor in 1795 in Pennsylvania that used pieces of eight as the currency after the Revolutionary War!"

Cross became interested in genealogy at 12 when he read an unpublished family tree by a distant relative. This included an ancestor's transcribed letter about fighting for the Union in the Civil War. He discovered a link between a Mayflower passenger and a Revolutionary War Patriot. A busy voice actor, OSHA safety trainer, and CPR instructor, Cross is also active in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). He's a ProGen 37 grad, and a member of the British Isles Family History Society-USA, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, APGEN, and the NGS. His family research business is Storyfinder.

Jamboree 2023 is a three-day event presented by SCGS, held online and in-person at the organization's Family Research Library and the Burbank Masonic Lodge in Burbank. This year's theme is "Cherishing Your Family Inheritance." The conference will feature a weekend of presentations, discussions, and roundtables focused on genealogy, family history research, storytelling, and the memories and treasures we inherit from our ancestors and pass down to our loved ones.

For registration and more information, view the conference website.

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