A Classification of American Wealth
History and genealogy of the wealthy families of America - Sponsors

 Part 1 : Colonial and Mercantile America  Part 2 : America in the Gilded Age
 Part 3 : America in the Twentieth Century  Encyclopedia of American Wealth

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    A Classification of American Wealth   >  Frequently Asked Questions

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Q : This used to be free. Why is it now subscription based ?
A :
It is the sad reality with Internet that so many good things that used to be freely available are now either subscription based or gone. Except some implied costs, such as hosting and web design, the author needs some contributions to do his research, ie buy books, subscribe to other online resources etc. Your free contribution helps us maintain “A Classification of American Wealth” and “Encyclopedia of American Wealth” available and improve it. The restriction of certain parts to subscribers also ensures better functionality and avoids our server to be overloaded with database requests.

Q : I registered and supplied all necessary personal information in your form, then I was directed to 2CO.com and had to give this information again ? Why is this ? What if that does not tally, should I correct the information in your form ?
A :
Registration and purchase are two separate steps. The first is on our website and the information you supply is for us to be able to send your access codes. The second form is requested by 2CO.com when you pay with your credit card. Discrepancies between the two sets of information will not disable the automatic password generation, but in case of fraud or charge-back, the access codes will be disabled.

Q : I would like to subscribe but I could not process the payment with my credit card
      on the 2CO.com website ? What should I do ?
A :
2CO.com has quite high standards as to the security of credit card transactions and therefore requests you certain information, such as your address and CVV security code (on the back side of your credit card), which they use to ascertain that the transactions are legitimate. If a transaction fails because of missing information, you get a corresponding error message on their web site. If you do not have a CVV security code on your credit card and do not want to request one, you may enter “000” in that field. If your transactions still fail, please use the 2CO.com knowledge base for more information.

Q : I have no credit card. Is there another way to pay ?
A :
Yes. If you have a US bank account, you now have the option to pay with a digital check.
You will automatically find this option at the 2CO.com web site, after registering through our web site. Please note that in case of check purchases the release of access codes is delayed until the check clears. Check clearance takes 3-4 days.

Q : I subscribed but did not find the information I was looking for. Can I get refunded ?
A :
No. The terms of use are clear. Your subscription is a non-refundable free contribution to the author’s and publishers’ efforts to set up and maintain the web site. There is no guarantee to find a specific information on the web site, nor that a specific topic will be covered during a subscription period. The web site is intended for people generally interested in the history and genealogy of the wealthy families of America, not for the search of very specific information. It is not finished and will not be for quite some time. The sitemap and the introduction part of the Encyclopedia section give a good picture of what is presently available.

Q : How is my subscription renewed ? Is this automatic ?
       Will my credit card be automatically charged ?
A :
No. Your payment is a one time non-recurring payment. A renewal is technically a new subscription and needs a new registration and payment.


Q : If I have a question about “A Classification of American Wealth,whom should I contact ?
A :
If the question is administrative ie regarding your subscription, access codes etc, please contact RAKEN Services at services@raken.com  If your question is about the content of the web site, please address the author via american.wealth@raken.com 

Q : I asked a question once and did not get an answer or it took a very long time. Why’s this?
A :
Administrative questions are generally answered at once during business hours by the RAKEN Services staff. Bear in mind that we are operating in the Greenwich (London) time zone, hence questions coming in after 1 pm Eastern time, will be answered on the next day. Content questions are relayed to the author who is often busy and sometimes not available at once. He receives hundreds of e-mails and attempts to answer as many as he can. Hence the delays.

Q : Do members’ questions (ie those of people with a subscription) get priority from the author, when he answers them ?
A :
The author is free to treat questions as it pleases him. Over time he has developed some contacts with regular readers of “A Classification of American Wealth” and we can imagine that these get their answers faster than others. However, we cannot prescribe him to treat subscribers differently than other visitors of the web site. The subscription is a free contribution to his work and enables a reader to get access to the present content of the web site as well as all improvements during the subscription period. This is not an information service.

Access Codes

Q : I lost my access codes, what should I do ?
A :
Please send an e-mail to services@raken.com  requesting your password. We will then transfer you the original e-mail with your access codes. We need the original e-mail address you used when you registered, as well as the approximate date of your registration.

Q : My access codes do not work, what should I do ?
A :
There are two frequent reasons for this problem : misspelling of the login code or password or a redirection failure to the page from where you tried to log. In case of a misspelling of access codes, you get an error message and request to re-enter the codes. The redirection failure would typically take you to a blank page or in some cases close the navigator window.

Q : How to avoid misspelling of access codes :
A :
Your login code is always the e-mail address you used to register your subscription.
The password is an automatically generated string of 3figures+2letters+4figures. The easiest way to avoid misspelling of login and password information is to copy and paste them into the fields. Otherwise please make sure you did not mistake a figure for a letter (eg “Zero” with the letter “O” etc). We recommend you to ask your computer to store the password information (ie say “Yes” to the automatic Windows prompt) for easier access at a later stage and to write down your access codes or store the e-mail with this information carefully.

Q : How to logon in case of a redirection failure.
A :
For maximum convenience to AW users, our programmers have developed an automatic redirection module, which allows you to login on any public page and be redirected straight to this same page in the members area. This was done to allow our members a direct access to the relevant results of Internet search queries or links from other resources. Unfortunately, this redirection fails under certain configurations (browser, operating system, security settings, etc).
In such case, please use the “Login” links in the top section of each AW page or in the theme site box of the RAKEN homepage www.raken.com  to login. You may then use the sitemap to find the requested page or browse through the index of the Encyclopedia section to find a specific list or profile.

Q : How do I recognize that I am successfully logged ?
A :
Once you are successfully logged, the “Login” link in the top section of each AW page changes to “Logout” and you have full access to all pages. You should not click on the “Logout” link again until you end your session on the website. Once you disconnect, you will be automatically logged out and need to login again for further research.

Q : I did not receive the e-mail with my access codes, why is that and what should I do ?
A :
There are unfortunately plenty of uncontrollable reasons why e-mails are not successfully delivered these days. Most frequently this is due to exceeded mailbox capacity or set spam filters. That’s one of the reasons we set up an automatic password generator, releasing the access codes right after the payment of your subscription. If you received your password Online, you should write it down at once and use this information to access later. Otherwise please send an e-mail to services@raken.com  We will resend your access codes and as a response to your e-mail, this should pass the filters you (or your e-mail provider) may have set.

Q : I did not get my access codes, neither online nor by e-mail, after I paid
      for my subscription. Why is that and what should I do ?
A :
After the introduction of the automatic password generator, together with retailing our subscriptions through 2CO.com, this case has become exceptional. It may happen though, if you made a double payment (ie you made two registrations and then failed to remove one from the 2CO purchase form, which essentially works like a shopping cart) or in the very seldom case of a simultaneous registration of two users (ie within a time frame of 30 seconds). Our access codes generation module cannot handle these cases.
We do notice them though and immediately make a manual release of your access codes, which will be sent you by e-mail. You may contact us by e-mail to services@raken.com  in order to assure and accelerate this process.
Please note that if you paid for your subscription using a digital check, your access codes will be released only once the check has cleared. Check clearance takes 3-4 days.


Q : From what I see, the text part and the encyclopedia section are far from complete ?
       Is there some hidden content or when will this be finished ?
A :
As indicated in the Information page, “A Classification of American Wealth” and “Encyclopedia of American Wealth” are indeed very much works in progress. Part of the content is reserved to members (ie subscribers) but there is no actual “hidden” content, in as much as all presently available text is indexed in the site map and the encyclopedia section contains a listing of all available lists and profiles. The author regularly updates the content, both by adding to the text sections and by extending/completing the Encyclopedia. The updates consist both in new chapters or extensions of existing chapters in the text part, as well as new lists and profiles and updates of existing content in the Encyclopedia.

Q : To what extent is the Encyclopedia section complete ?
A :
This is difficult to answer because it depends on the yardstick you set. By the author’s own appraisal, the existing published lists contain between 50 to 70% of the people that should be covered, whereas specific profiles exist for about 15-20% of the individuals and families. To have an idea of the author’s measure, you should consider that the most comprehensive list of American millionaires of the Gilded Age, published by the New York Tribune in 1892, contains 4’058 names and that he believes they (and their descendents) should all be covered. On our request, the author has committed to give priority to the completion of the published lists on a top down basis (regarding individual and family wealth), so that at least the wealthiest Americans in each period be included, regardless on the advancement of the thematic (text) section.

Q : When will the third part “America in the Twentieth Century” and newer lists be added ?
A : The priority has been set to the Gilded Age period now, so the remaining chapters in Part II will be published before Part III. A first chapter in Part III, concerning the large fortunes derived from the automobile industry during the 1900’s and 1910’s has been anticipated though, to complete the picture of the wealthy families in America at the end of the Gilded Age, which the author situates at the stock market crash of 1929. Consequently the newer lists (1950, 1975 and 2000) will also come later. In this matter the author thinks that there are plenty of good lists published yearly by Forbes and Fortune magazines that document the end of the Twentieth Century. His own lists will add value only by bridging the older lists with the new and thereby uncovering the hidden influence or wealth of family fortunes, which may not be all that publicized otherwise. But as private wealth grew almost exponentially along with the American economy, such analysis will take quite a lot of time.

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