|Heiresses in the database||953||612||304||1,869|
|Women in the database||3,386||3,426||2,189||9,001|
|People in the database||8,331||8,459||5,194||21,984|
|Heiress % of total heiresses||51.0||32.7||16.3||100.0|
|Women % of total women||37.6||38.1||24.3||100.0|
|People % of total people||37.9||38.5||23.6||100.0|
|Heiress % of total women||10.6||6.8||3.4||20.8|
|Heiress % of total people||15.4||15.6||10.0||40.9|
|Heiress ancestors % of women ancestors, etc||28.1||17.9||13.9||20.8|
|Heiress ancestors % of all ancestors, etc||11.4||7.2||5.9||8.5|
You can see from the above that the heiresses are a far larger
proportion of the ancestors than of the blood relatives or of
the relatives by marriage. That over one quarter of female
ancestors are heiresses is a remarkable number, three times
the proportion of heiresses amongst all women in the database.
In some ways this is not surprising: heiresses are important, they have assets (usually) so people are more likely to remember them. Further any marriage with an heiress much more than 150 years ago would have involved some bargaining between the parents to ensure that the financials were set up sensibly; this would have involved written documents, marriage settlements usually and as such would be likely to be preserved in the family deed chest.
Another question is whether there is some genetic mechanism at work here as well. Heiresses were chosen for sons as they would bolster the sons finances; and for eldest sons this enormously enlarged their estates. But the heiresses were women who had survived their brothers; might they have brought a genetic trait in, to tend to produce families where only the women survived?
Finally, just to keep you happy the next page is a table of all the heiresses in the database as at 1st August 2007. But be warned that it is 495 kbytes large.