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Colonial Family Life

"Redefining Family" | Bibliography

woodcut print of familydinner at the Powell family's house


1. a) The servants of a house or establishment b) the household c) the retinue of a nobleman or grandee d) the staff of a high military officer e) a troop, school. 2. The body of persons who live in one house or under one head, including parents, children, servants, etc. 3. The group of persons consisting of the parents and their children, whether actually living together or not; in a wider sense, the unity formed by those who are nearly connected by blood or affinity. 4. Those descended or claiming descent from a common ancestor; a house; kindred; lineage. (Source: Oxford English Dictionary)

How do you define family? Consider these resources:
Listen to a Behind the Scenes Interview:
Telling the story of colonial women.
Kristen Spivey reveals some surprises about 18th-century women and their role in history.

Audio file (MP3, 3.7Mb)  ||  View transcript

This interview is part of an ongoing series of podcasts available on the Colonial Williamsburg site. Learn more.