History Of Quite Luxury And Old Money Style.

Old Money is most prominent in countries where there was no aristocracy but instead an elite social class held a status nearly equal to an aristocracy.

In the United States, the oldest Old Money families are the ones which can trace their ancestry back to the passengers on the Mayflower. Other families are considered Old Money when they can trace their ancestry back to the founders of a prestigious town such as New York City, for example the fictional van der Woodsens in Gossip Girl, who are descendants of Dutch settlers in New York.

The Social Register, a list of the wealthiest and most influential American families was first published in 1887. Some major cities have their own versions of the Social Register. In recent times, it has become less of an indicator of Old Money pedigree.

In the 1930s, Old Money families traced their wealth back to at least the American Revolution. Those who had gained wealth around the time of the American Civil War and during the Gilded Age, were not yet considered Old Money. Today, families whose wealth dates back only to the Gilded Age are considered Old Money.

Other terms

Blue Blood is a term used to refer to people descended from nobility. Although not all Old Money families have Blue Blood, a family with Blue Blood is more likely to be Old Money than not.

In 1844, the phrase The Upper Ten was used to refer to the 10,000 richest people in New York City. During the Gilded Age, The Four Hundred was used to refer to the four hundred wealthiest families in New York City. The list included the Astors and the Vanderbilts.

Many Old Money families are also WASPs (white Anglo-Saxon Protestants).

Location based terms

The Boston Brahmin, First Families of Virginia, and Old Philadelphians are location-based terms for Old Money groups in the US. They refer to the Old Money families from Boston, Virginia and Philadelphia, whose ancestors were the founders of that respective city or state.

Posh is a term most used in Great Britain to mean a wealthy, upper class person, although the term includes both Old Money and new money. It has spread to other English-speaking locations.