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: