Inheritance Patterns in the United States, 1685-1980 (ICPSR 9443)

Published: Jan 12, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
Carole Shammas

Version V1

This data collection was designed to study changes in American inheritance patterns over three centuries. Major areas of investigation include equality of treatment among children, legacies to sons versus daughters, estate planning strategies, treatment of spouse in will, women's testamentary power, charitable bequests, bequests to extended kin and non-kin, legacies of chattel, realty, and financial assets, and the naming of executors and guardians.

Shammas, Carole. Inheritance Patterns in the United States, 1685-1980. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-12.

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National Science Foundation. Law and Social Sciences Program (SES-8208620)

National Endowment for the Humanities (RO-20466-83)

1685 -- 1980

1983 -- 1985

Marylynn Salmon, University of Maryland, Department of History, and Michel Dahlin, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Department of History, collaborated with Carole Shammas in the preparation of this data collection.

Probate records (wills, administrations, and inventories) for Bucks County, Pennsylvania and Los Angeles County, California

event/transaction data



2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 11 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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