Why Heiresses?

Heiresses are central to this site. This site is not a study of ancestors of our surname, it is one of the distaff ancestors. The distaffs are the mothers and grandmothers, the families joined together in marriage.

Many of these wives were heiresses, just over a quarter. These heiresses brought with them family histories of their families, they were last of a line. The descendants of these heiresses are their families' representatives, as it used to be put.

Inevitably heiresses figure largely in a study of distaff families, as so much more is known about them. And in times past, when inheritance was important to the landed classes, there were formal customs and expectations about heiresses. Here's some that I have picked up:

  1. Rules about heiresses from the time of the Normans.

  2. Heiresses and the arms they bring to the pot.

  3. Titles and co-heiresses and sole heiresses.

  4. Where does money come into all this?

  5. Was an heiress mistress of her own house?

  6. Why don't we know what the heiresses were worth?

  7. The sale of heiresses.

  8. The problem with heiresses: or what the Nevilles did.

  9. Heirs to their mothers only.

  10. The heiresses that weren't.

  11. The statistics on the heiresses in this database. (Updated 1st August 2007)

  12. The list of 1,869 heiresses - big, 495 kbytes. (Updated 1st August 2007)
Next: Rules   Home