In the Depositor Databases, we devote one line to every depositor. In the Household Database, we devote one line to each household. So even if Patrick Kelly and his wife Bridget each have their own accounts, they share a line in the Household Database. The 15,800 depositors in our Depositor Databases lived in 12,800 households. The Household Database is useful if one wants to avoid double-counting the savings of a couple who have a joint account or multiple accounts under different names. If a married couple like Patrick and Bridget Kelly each have accounts and each account peaks at $100 on the same date, they are each listed in the Depositor Databases as having a peak savings of $200. If you were not careful, you might come to the conclusion that each has $200. The Household Database prevents you from making that mistake. It shows more clearly that it was the entire household had $200, not each individual in it. If you want to know the total amount of money saved by the portion of the Irish immigrant community (or some subset of it) that had accounts at the Emigrant Savings Bank, the Household Database is the best way to determine the answer. The Household Database is also useful if you want to know who the other members of Patrick Kelly’s household were who contributed to his household savings. In some cases, adult children who lived with their parents had their own accounts and their savings was counted as part of the family’s household savings.
One other thing to note about the Household Database. The biographical data in it was not checked for errors quite as often as the Depositor Databases. If you find a discrepancy between the Household and Depositor Databases, the data in the Depositor Database is the most reliable.