Exploring and Visualizing the Wealth of the Rich in Bursa through Record Linkage and GIS, 1820-1840

February 27, 2019

Speaker: Efe Erünal

This paper revolves around the probate inventories of three rich people died in the city of Bursa in the period from 1820 to 1840: An Ex-Qadi of Plovdiv, a daughter of an ulama family, and an Armenian cloth merchant. Its aims are threefold. Firstly, their consumption patterns are examined in relation to their socio-economic status. Secondly, their ownership of immovable property and moneylending networks in and out of the city of Bursa are explored and visualized through geographical information systems (GIS) by using a detailed cadastral map of the city from 1862. Thirdly, their family, economic, and social connections are investigated by analyzing their titles, using supplementary archival documents, and, more importantly, by employing Ottoman population and tax surveys from the mid-nineteenth century to reveal how these people accumulated their wealth and passed it onto the next generations.