Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    The collective body of persons forming one household, under one head, including parents, children and possibly servants. See 80 Conn. 212, 125 Am. St. Rep. 116, 11 Ann. Cas. 568, 67 Atl. 510. See, also, 61 Am. Dec. 586, note.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A collective body of persons who live in one house and under one head or management. Jarboe v. Jarboe, 106 Mo. App.i459, 79 S. W. 1162; Dodge v. Boston & P. R. Corp, 154 Mass. 299, 28 N. E. 243, 13 L. R. A. 318; Tyson v. Reynolds, 52 Iowa, 481, 3 N. W. 469. A family comprises a father, mother, and children. In a wider sense, it may include domestic servants; all who live in one house under one head. In a still broader sense, a group of blood-relatives; all the relations who descend from a common ancestor, or who spring from a common root. See Civil Code La. art. 3522, no. 16; 9 Ves. 323. A husband and wife living together may constitute a "family," within the meaning of that word as used in a homestead law. Miller v. Finegan, 26 Fla. 29, 7 South. 140, 6 L. R. A. 813. "Family," in its origin, meant "servants;" but, in its more modem and comprehensive meaning, it signifies a collective body of persons living together in one house, or within the curtilage, in legal phrase. Wilson v. Cochran, 31 Tex. 077, 98 Am. Dec. 553. "Family" may mean children, wife and children. blood-relatives, or the members of the domestic circle, according to the connection in which the word is used. Spencer v. Spencer, 11 Paige (N. Y.) 159. "Family," in popular acceptation, includes parents, children, and servants,—all whose domicile or home is ordinarily in the same house and under the same management and head. In a statute providing that to gain a settlement in a town one must have "supported himself and his family therein" for six years, it includes the individuals whom it was the right of the head to control, and his duty to support The wife is a member of the family, within such an enactment. Cheshire v. Burlington, 31 Co.nn. 326.
    —Family arrangement. A term denoting an agreement between a father and his children, or between the heirs of a deceased father, to dispose of property, or to partition it in a different manner than that which would resalt if the law alone directed it, or to divide up property without administration. In these cases, frequently, the mere relation of the parties will give effect to bargains otherwise without adequate consideration. 1 Chit. Pr. 67; 1 Turn. & R. 13
    —Family Bible. A Bible containing a record of the births, marriages, and deaths of the members of a family.
    —Family meeting. An institution of the laws of Louisiana, being a council of the relatives (or, if there are no relatives, of the friends) of a minor, for the purpose of advising as to his affairs and the administration of his property. The family meeting is called by order of a judge, and presided over by a justice or notary, and must consist of at least five persons, who are put under oath. In re Bothick, 44 La. Ann. 1037, 11 South. 712; Civ. Code La. art. 305. It corresponds to the "conseil de famille" of French law, g. v.
    —Family settlement. A term of practically the same signification as "family arrangement," q. v. supra. See Willey v. Hodge, 104 Wis. 81, 80 N. W. 75, 76 Am. St. Rep. 852.