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be held, deemed and taken as and for a public This act a act, and taken notice of as such without plead- public act. ing the same, by all judges, justices, magistrates and courts of justice, within this state.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to any suits commenced on any duties of office, done before the first day of March next.

And be it further enacted by the authority to conti. aforesaid, That this act shall be and continue in nue in

uc " force for force for the term of four years, and from thence four years to the end of the next meeting and sitting of the legislature. In the Senate House, the fourteenth day of Fe

bruary, in the year of our Lord one thou.
sand seven hundred and ninety-one, and in
the fifteenth year of the Independence of the
United States of America.
DAVID RAMSAY,

President of the Senate.
JACOB READ,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.

An ACT for the abolition of the Rights of Pri

mogeniture, and for the giving an equitable distribution of the Real Estate of Intestates,

and for other purposes therein mentioned. UITHEREAS the convention of this state,

V by the fifth section of the tenth article of the constitution, passed the third day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety, did direct that the legislature should, as soon as might be convenient, pass laws for the abolition of the rights of primoge. niture, and for giving an equitable distribution of the real estates of intestates:

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Be it therriare enacted by the honorable the The right Senate ind fouse of Representatives, now mes of primo- and sitting in General Assembly, and by the aut-. geniture bolished, thority of the same, That the right of primogeandestatus niture be and the same is hereby abolished; and of irti

citiet whun any person possessed of, interested in, kv düsti or en tied unto a real estate in his or her own buted.

Pipit ia fe simple, shall die without disposing hanno vit, the same shall be distributed in the wir Ihner;

Fist. It istate sh:!!imirea widow and one or incre chicken, the widur sholl tale one thiid of the said estate, and the remainder shall be divided between the chicken, if inore than che; but if only one, the remainder of the estate shall bi vested in that one absolutely for ever.

2nd. The lineal descendarts of the intestate shalirepresent their respective parents, and be entitled to receiveand divide cqually amongthem the shares to which their parents would respectively have been entiucd had they survived the ancestor.

3rd. If the intestate shall not leave a child or other lineal descendant, but shall leave a widow, and a father or mother, the widow shall be entitkd to one moity of the estate, and the father, or if he be dead, the mother shall be entitled to the other moicér.

4th. If the intestate shall not leave a lineal descenclant, father or mother, but shall leave a widow, and brothers and sisters, or brother or sister of the whole biood, the widow shall be cntitled to one moiety of the estate, and the brothers and sisters, or brother or sister, to the other moi. ety, as tenants in common. The children of a deceased brother or sister shall take among them respectively the share which their respective ancestors would have been entitled to had they surrived the intestate.

Gil. If the intestate shall leave no lincal-des scendunt, father, mother, brother or sister of the whole blood, but shall leave a widow, and a brother or sister of the half blood, and a child or child en of a brother crsister of the u hole blood, the widow shall take one moicty of the estate, and the other moiety shall be equally divided between the brothers and sisters of the hai blood and the children of the brothers and sisters of the whole blood; the children of every deccased brother or sister of the whole lood taking, among them, a share equal to the shire oi a brother or sister of the half blood. But if there be no brother or sister of the half Liced, then a moicty of the estate shall descend to the child or children of the deceased brother or sister. And if there be no child of a deceased brcther or sister of the vhole blood, then the said moiety shall descend to the brothers and sisters of the half blood.

Ctin. If the intestate shall leave no lineal descendant, father, mother, brother or sister of the whole blood, or their children, or brother or sister of the half blood, then the widow shall take one moiety, and the lineal ancestor or ancestors, if any there be, the other moicty.

7th. If the intestate shall leave no lineal descendant, father, mother, brother or sister of the whole blood, or their children, or brother or sister of the half blood, or lincal ancestor, then the widow shall take two thirds of the estate, and the remainder shall descend to the next of kin.

8th. If the intestate shall leave no widow, the provision made for her shall go as the rest of his estate is directed to be distributed in the respective clauses in which the widow is provided for.

9th. In reckoning the degrees of kindred, the computation shall begin with the intestate, and be

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continucd up to the common ancestor, and thence down to the person claiming kindred inclusively, each stop inclusively being reckoned as one degree.

10th. On the death of any married woman, the husband shall be entitled to the same share of her real estate as is herein given to the widow, out of the estate of the husband, and the remainder of her real estate shall be distributed among her descendants and relations in the same manner as is heretofore directed in case of the intestacy of a married man.

11th. If the intestate shall leave no husband, the provision hercin made for him shall go as the rest of the estate is directed to be distributed in

the preceding clauses. In cases of And be it further eacted, That in all cases of

cy, intestacy, the personal estate of the intestate shall personal estates to be distributed in the same manner as real estates

distri- are disposed of by this act. buted in a

And be it further enacted by the authority ner as real. aforesaid, That nothing herein contained shall

dren be construed to give to any child or issue (or advanced his or her legal representatives) of the intestate a by intest- share of his or her ancestor's estate, where such ate in his lifetime, to child or issue shall have been advanced by the receive no intestate in his lifetime, by portions or portion, more than will make equal to the share which shall be allotted to the their porti. other children: But in case any child, or the ons equal issue of any child, who shall have been so adwith the others. vanced, shall not have received a portion equal

to the share which shall be due to the other children (the value of which portion being estimated at the death of the ancestor, but so as that neither the improvements of the real estate by such child or children, nor the increase of the personal property, shall be taken into the computation) then so much of the estate of the intestate

same man.

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shall be distributed to such child or issue as shall make the estate of all the children to be equal.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no lands or personal estate, No estate, which shall be acquired by any person after the account

after makmaking of his or her will, shall pass thereby, ing a will, unless the said will be republished, but every shall pass

thereby such person shall be considered as having died unless the intestate as to the said lands and personal estate, will be reand the same shall be distributable according to pu

to published the directions of this act.

And be it further enacted by the authority Estates in aforesaid, That where any person shall be, at the joint tetime of his or her death, seized or possessed of nancy se.

vered by · any estate in joint tenancy, the same shall be ad- death of judged to be severed by the death of the joint joint te

nant. tenant, and shall be distributable as if the same was a tenancy in common.

und be it further enacted by the authority Provision aforesaid, That in all cases where provision is

1 widow, to made by this act for the widow of a person dying be, if acintestate, the same shall, if accepted, be consi- cepted, in

* lieu of dered as in lieu of and in bar of dower. dower.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the first day of

Persons May next, it shall and may be lawful to and for may apply, any person, who may be entitled to a distribu- by petition

to the tive share of any estate, real or personal, and shall court, for have arrived to the age of twenty-one years, or a writo be married, to apply by petition to the court of equity or common pleaş (at the option of the party) for a writ of partition, to be directed to certain commissioners, authorizing and requiring them to divide the said estate; and the court shall thereupon issue a writ of partition in the same manner as is directed for the admeasurement of dower, by an act, entitled, “An act for the more easy and expeditious obtaining the ad

ested

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