|Household, land transmission and heritage in northern Portugal (Terra da Maia 1800-1950)|
|The land in «Terra da Maia», as generically happened in all the Northern Portugal, was an entailed property. The inheritance system was ruled by a tradition through which the land was transmitted to the first-born son. The law of 19 of May 1863 ended with this system and the Civil Code instituted the equal division in all the heirs. This makes that the property, already small, successively sprays in as many remnant pieces how many the heirs. This situation, frequently catastrophic, compelled the farmer to use some strategies such as the preparation, since childhood, of the children for the fact of only one to be the heir of the household. The parents assured the fruition of certain parcels through endows and donations, and the other brothers were compensated in many ways.
This strategy although forbidden by law, was in use till the middle of the twentieth century.
All the land transmission and the heritage process was commanded by this system and deeply influenced the kinship and family organization and the typical rural solidarity networks.
In this work, thanks to wills, dowry contracts and other documents, we try to portray this typical “institution” and to study its importance for the reproduction and perpetuation of the rural society.