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the right, by law or custom, of the paternally acknowledged firstborn son to inherit his parent's entire or main estate, in preference to daughters, elder illegitimate sons, younger sons and collateral relatives

Primogeniture refers to the system of inheritance by the firstborn, usually the eldest son.[1] In feudal England and other legal systems, the legitimate first-born son reserves the primary right to inherit property.[2] He is given preference over all daughters, younger sons and even elder illegitimate sons. The rule is that the eldest will always have the first claim. If there is no son, each of the daughters inherit an equal share of the estate.[2] In the absence of any children, the property is often inherited by the eldest brother. Among siblings, sons inherit before daughters and so on. Primogeniture is Latin for "first born".


  1. "primogeniture". Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "primogeniture". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved January 20, 2017.