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American Colonial Wealth Estimates, 1774 (ICPSR 7329) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study was the outcome of an extensive research project that cataloged and analyzed the various types of wealth that existed in the American colonies in 1774, just before the Revolution. Data about 919 decedents having resided in 21 colonial counties in both rural and urban settings were collected from county probate records in the New England colonies, the Middle Colonies, New York, and the South. WEALTH OF A NATION TO BE: THE AMERICAN COLONIES ON THE EVE OF THE REVOLUTION (see Related Literature associated with this study) discusses the entire project, providing tables, graphs, summaries, and conclusions. AMERICAN COLONIAL WEALTH, DOCUMENTS AND METHODS includes some documentation for the codes used as well as the verbatim listings of the probate files of the 919 persons studied.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

  • These data are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Because you are not logged in, we cannot verify that you will be able to download the data.

Dataset(s)

WARNING: Because this study has many datasets, the download all files option has been suppressed, and you will need to download one dataset at a time.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Each Region, Wealth Summary: Middle Colonies (MIDLCOL) - Download All Files (3,663 KB)
DS2:  Each Region, Wealth Summary: New England (NEWENGL) - Download All Files (3,770 KB)
DS3:  Each Region, Wealth Summary: South, followed by New York (SOUTH) - Download All Files (3,731 KB)
DS4:  Middle Colonies Wealth Detail: Gross Portable Wealth Detail (GPWDTL) - Download All Files (7,202 KB)
DS5:  Middle Colonies Wealth Detail: Gross Portable Wealth, Total per Decedent (GPWTOT) - Download All Files (3,564 KB)
DS6:  Middle Colonies Wealth Detail: Real Estate Information from Inventories (REINV) - Download All Files (3,487 KB)
DS7:  Middle Colonies Wealth Detail: Additional Real Estate, etc. (ACCTWO) - Download All Files (3,617 KB)
DS8:  Wealth Summary for Middle Colonies: Middle Colonies (SUMMARY) - Download All Files (3,634 KB)
DS9:  Middle Colonies Wealth Detail: Allocations of "Purse and Apparel" Entry (ALLOCS) - Download All Files (3,488 KB)
DS10:  Middle Colonies Wealth Detail: Withdrawn Cards (EXTRAS) - Download All Files (3,514 KB)
DS11:  Age in Years: Age in Years of Decedents (AGEYRS) - Download All Files (3,467 KB)
DS12:  Ordered Listing of Wealth: Ordered Listing of TPW, Middle Colonies (MCTPW) - Download All Files (3,481 KB)
DS13:  Ordered Listing of Wealth: Ordered Listing of TPW, New England (NETPW) - Download All Files (3,521 KB)
DS14:  Ordered Listing of Wealth: Ordered Listing of TPW, South (SOTPW) - Download All Files (3,501 KB)
DS15:  Ordered Listing of Wealth: Ordered Listing of TPW, New York (NYTPW) - Download All Files (3,431 KB)
DS16:  Ordered Listing of Wealth: Ordered Listing of NW, Middle Colonies (MCNW) - Download All Files (3,481 KB)
DS17:  Ordered Listing of Wealth: Ordered Listing of NW, New England (NENW) - Download All Files (3,521 KB)
DS18:  Ordered Listing of Wealth: Ordered Listing of NW, South (SONW) - Download All Files (3,501 KB)
DS19:  Ordered Listing of Wealth: Ordered Listing of NW, New York (NYNW) - Download All Files (3,431 KB)
DS20:  Regression Analysis Data: Dataset to Estimate Virginia Land Prices (VALAND) - Download All Files (3,564 KB)
DS21:  Regression Analysis Data: Dataset to Estimate Maryland Land Prices (MALAND) - Download All Files (3,479 KB)
DS22:  Regression Analysis Data: Dataset to Estimate North Carolina Land Prices (NCLAND) - Download All Files (3,512 KB)
DS23:  Regression Analysis Data: Dataset to Estimate South Carolina Land Prices (SCLAND) - Download All Files (3,478 KB)
DS24:  Regression Analysis Data: Dataset to Estimate Charleston, SC, Land Prices (SCURBN) - Download All Files (3,426 KB)

Study Description

Citation

Jones, Alice Hanson. American Colonial Wealth Estimates, 1774. ICPSR07329-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-09-11. doi:10.3886/ICPSR07329.v2

Persistent URL:

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   agricultural productivity, American Colonies, eighteenth century, historical periods, land ownership, personal wealth, wills

Smallest Geographic Unit:   county

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1774

Date of Collection:  

  • 1968

Unit of Observation:   probate inventories

Universe:   Probate inventories issued in 1774 for decedents from the American colonies.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Methodology

Sample:   The sample design aimed to ensure representativeness. Contiguous counties were grouped into units of approximately 20,000 wealthholders, out of which a representative county was drawn based on the number of wealthholders in each county. The cases in the sample were then weighted, first to reflect the age distribution of the total population, and then to take into account those individuals who did not have their estates probated.

Weight:   For a description of the weights and their intended usage, please see Jones, Alice Hanson. American Colonial Wealth: Documents And Methods. New York: Arno Press, 1977, Section VI: Weighting Procedures.

Data Source:

county probate records

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2012-09-11 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setups, as well as SPSS and Stata system files, and SAS transport (CPORT) files have been added to this collection. The data for Dataset 8 (Wealth Summary for Middle Colonies: Middle Colonies) have been converted from ASCII card-image format to ASCII column-delimited format. The data for Dataset 4 have been cleaned up by removing non-ASCII characters. The codebook has been updated.
  • 2006-01-18 File CB7329.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2002-01-14 A blank line was deleted at the end of Part 24.

Related Publications

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