We organized this data set to investigate whether gender had a significant impact on how appraisers conducted probate court estate inventories. If society drew a distinction between a man’s world and his work and a woman’s world and her work, then it may have associated different goods with the different worlds. This could have created ‘men’s possessions’ and ‘women’s possessions,’ ascribing gender to material objects. Acting within this set of cultural assumptions, probate appraisers might have wittingly or unwittingly inventoried estates differently on the basis of female involvement with the estate.
We used the York County Estate Inventories are available through the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation at http://research.history.org/DigitalLibrary/inventories/. Over the 101 years to which we restricted ourselves (1700-1800, inclusive), we obtained 693 usable inventories. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation lists 852 items in this collection. One hundred and eight were inventories filed prior to 1700. Of the remaining documents, not all were estate inventories, and some documents were verbatim repeats of previous documents. Still others were simply not useful due to excessive information loss.
Time Period: Start Date of Data Coverage
Time Period: End Date of Data Coverage
Date of this Version
York County Estate Inventories are available through the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation at http://research.history.org/DigitalLibrary/inventories/
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Lucas, Wendy E. 4505624 and Campbell, Noel D., "York County Probate Records 1700-1800," - . 26. Philadelphia, PA: McNeil Center for Early American Studies [distributor], 2016. https://repository.upenn.edu
Date Posted: 01 November 2016