Genealogy of a Company
March 30, 2013
I have been a volunteer at the Midwest Genealogy Center for a little over three years but working on family research for about 11 years now. I specialize in Canadian and Hungarian research, but how in the world does that relate to genealogy of a company?
I’ve been an associate at UMB Bank in Kansas City for almost 22 years. In 2013, we will be celebrating our centennial as a company. I offered my services to research the history of the bank, since it was pretty much right up my alley, and figured it would be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the rich history of the bank. The Midwest Genealogy Center is just filled with all kinds of great resources, so I was ready to dig in.
The first thing I needed was the original name of the company and the date of the original charter or incorporation of the company. Consider this the "birth of the company." The parents of the company would be those individuals who were the original owners.
I started looking through microfilm of the Kansas City Star/Times/Journal for dates within a week of the original incorporation date. I was fortunate to find what I believe was the first advertisement for City Center Bank in 1913. Think of this advertisement as the "birth announcement" for the company. The announcement also included the assets listed as $100,000 and surplus as $10,000, similar to the weight and length in a baby announcement.
Throughout the years, we grew and so did Kansas City. The bank changed names, acquired other financial institutions, added new lines of businesses, and so on. Name changes are just like when a woman marries, but in the case of a company, it is a little easier to track down the new company name.
Acquisitions are just like marriages. And like married couples, companies celebrate silver, golden, and diamond anniversaries. UMB Bank is fortunate to celebrate 100 years next year.
New lines of business can be viewed as a new branch of the family tree, with the original company being the parent. As you can see, more dates, places, and names are being added to the company tree.
Subsidiaries of the company, in some cases, could be considered children or even grandchildren.
Hopefully you are catching on!
When a company ceases to exist, think of it like a death. And companies are not without divorces. Sometimes a new line of business breaks off into a company all their own, pulling away from the parent company.
Memories of a company live on just like they do a family. I was fortunate, through my research, to see how Kansas City was built. You see, I was born and raised on the south side of Chi Town, aka, Chicago.
Look for the UMB Bank Centennial Display at the Midwest Genealogy Center in 2013.
See you then…
Midwest Genealogy Center