Early American Probate Inventories

Early American Probate Inventories


This publication is a collection of papers presented in June of 1987. The conference was organized to consider the three broad uses of early American probate inventories: artifact and artisanry research; documentary historical archaeology, and social, economic, and cultural history. Inventories were lists of ordinary household belongings compiled by neighbors who usually worked in pairs or threes and these documents potentially balance museum collections and artifactual survivals.  

The following is a list of the title and author of each paper:

Matching Inventory Terms and Period Furnishings by Robert F. Trent

The Meaning of Absence: Household Inventories in Surry County, Virginia, 1690-1715 by Anna L. Hawley

Using Tax Lists to Detect Biases in Probate Inventories by Kevin M. Sweeney

Literacy and Reading in Eighteenth-Century Westborough, Massachusetts by Ross W. Beales, Jr.

 Dress in Seventh-Century Westborough. Massachusetts: An Inventory Based Reconstruction by Patricia Trautman

 Women’s Property and Family Continuity in Eighteenth-Century Connecticut by Barbara McLean Ward

Rhode Island Handloom Weavers: A Probate Perspective by Gail Fowler Mohanty

First-Period Architecture in Maine and New Hampshire: The Evidence of Probate Inventories by Richard M. Candee

Delaware’s Orphans Court Valuations and the Reconstitution of Historic Landscapes, 1785-1830 by Bernard L. Herman

Sleeping Arrangements in Early Massachusetts: The Newbury Household of Henry Lunt, Hatter by Peter Benes

The Distribution of Consumer Goods in Colonial New England: a Subregional Approach by Gloria L. Main

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