In most of the states there are constitutional or statutory provisions exempting from execution or other forced sale for debts, to a certain extent, the "homestead" or residence of the debtor. While these provisions have usually been dictated, in the various states, by the same policy, - that of protecting the family home as against the demands of creditors, - they are exceedingly diverse in character, and even substantially similar provisions have received different constructions in different courts. A brief summary only of the more important features of this legislation, as construed by the courts, can here be given.

59. Pearson v. King, 99 Ala. 125, 10 So. 919; Farnum v. Peterson, 111 Mass. 148; McMahan v. Bowe, 114 Mass. 140, 19 Am. Rep. 321; Snow v. Inhabitants of Orleans, 126 Mass. 453; Den d. Hadley v. Geiger, 9 N. J. Law, 225; Hamilton v. Wright, 37 N. Y. 502; Van Hoesen v. Benham, 15 Wend. (N. Y.) 164; Wilson v. Nance, 11 Humph. (Tenn.) 189; Park v. Pratt, 38 Vt. 545. Contra Graves v. Leathers, 17 B. Mon. (Ky.) 665, and see Green v. Cumberland, etc. Co., 110 Tenn. 35. 72 S. W. 459.

60. Wilson v. Nance, 11 Humph. (Tenn.) 189; Hamilton v.

Wright, 37 N Y. 502; Chamber-Jain v. Taylor, 92 N Y. 348; Coogler v. Rogers, 25 Fla. 853, 7 So. 391; Galbraith v. Payne, 12 N. Dak. 164, 96 N. W. 258.

61. Farnum v. Peterson, 111 Mass. 148; Cleverly v. Whitney, 7 Pick. (Mass.) 36; Coogler v. Rogers, 25 Fla. 853, 7 So. 391; Thompson v. Richards, 19 Ga. 594; Justice v. Eddings, 75 N. C. 581; Park v. Pratt, 38 Vt. 545; Key v. Snow, 90 Tenn. 664, 18 S. W. 251. Contra, Crowley v. Vaughan, 11 Bush. (Ky.) 517.

62. Everenden v. Beaumont, 7 Mass. 76; Dever v. Hagerty, 169 N. Y. 481, 62 N. E. 586.

The courts have sometimes spoken of the homestead right as an "estate" in land.63 While the widow's homestead, as before explained, frequently has the characteristics of an estate,64 it is difficult to understand how the right of an owner of particular land to hold such land exempt from liability for debts can be in any sense an "estate;" and even in states where the statute expressly declares that it is an "estate,"65 a new meaning must, it would seem, be given to the latter term, in order that the provision may have any real significance.66 That the homestead right is not an estate has been quite frequently asserted judicially.67

Persons entitled to the right. The policy of the homestead statutes is usually to protect the family home,-rather than individuals,68 and consequently the statute ordinarily in terms gives the exemption only to the "head of a family," or to a "householder," or "housekeeper" having a family.69 Whether one is the head of a family is usually determined by the consideration whether he is under a legal or moral obligation to support a person or persons living with him who are dependent on him for support.70 The family need not consist of more than two persons.71 But a person living

63. Dorrington v. Myers, 11 Neb. 388, 5 N. W. 555. Gilbert v. Cowan, 3 Lea (Tenn.) 203; Poe v. Hardie, 65 N. C. 447; Harga-dene v. Whitfield, 71 Tex. 482, 9 S. W. 475.

64. Ante, Sec. 247.

65. As in Illinois and Massachusetts. See Browning v. Harris, 99 111. 460; Abbott v. Abbott, 97 Mass. 136; Pratt v. Pratt, 161 Mass. 276, 37 N. E. 166.

66. The right of homestead exemption is but a partial restoration of the common law exemption of one's land from liability for debts. The estate of the owner whether a fee simple, for life, or for years, is not changed by the fact that he marries or takes indigent relatives to live with him, or otherwise acquires a right to the exemption, or by the fact that he loses it by abandonment or otherwise. See the discussion in Waples, Homestead, c. 9. And see, particularly, the dissenting opinion of Clark, J., in Vanstory v. Thornton, 112 N. C. 211, 34 Am. St. Rep. 483, 17 S. E. 566, for a clear and forcible statement of the character of the homestead right.

67. Black v. Curran, 14 Wall. (U. S.) 463, 20 L. Ed. 849; McDonald v. Crandall, 43 111. 231, 92 Am. Dec. 112; Burns v. Keas, 21 Iowa, 257; Little's Guardian v. Woodward, 14 Bush (Ky.) 585; Jones v. Britton, 102 N. Car. 166, 4 L. R. A. 178, 9 S. E. 554; Yoe v. Hanvey, 25 S. Car. 96; Carrigan v. Rowell, 96 Tenn. 185, 34 S. W. 4.

68. Waples, Homestead c. 3.

69. Waples, Homestead, c. 3. See Linton v. Crosby, 56 Iowa, 386, 41 Am. Rep. 107; Bosquett v. Hall, 90 Ky. 566, 9 L. R. A. 351, 29 Am. St. Rep. 404, 13 S. W. 244; Barry v. Western Assur. Co., 19 Mont. 571, 61 Am. St. Rep. 530, 49 Pac. 148; Moyer v. Drummond, 32 S. Car. 165, 7 L. R. A. 747, 17 Am. St. Rep. 850, 10 S. E. 952; Stanley v. Greenwood, 24 Tex. 224, 76 Am. Dec. 106; Calhoun v. Williams, 32 Gratt. (Va.) 18, 34 Am. Rep. 759.

70. Holloway v. Holloway, 86 Ga. 576, 11 L. R. A. 518, 22 Am. St. Rep. 484, 12 S. E. 943; Mc-Murray v. Shuck, 6 Bush (Ky.) 111, 99 Am. Dec. 662; Bosquett v. Hall, 90 Ky. 566, 9 L. R. A. 351, 29 Am. St. Rep. 404, 13 S. W. 244; Bank of Versailles v. Guthrey, 127 Mo. 189, 48 Am. St. Rep. 621, 29 S. W. 1004; Moyer v. Drummond, 32 S. Car. 165, 7 L. R. A. 747, 17 Am. St. Rep. 850, 10 S. E. 952.

Accordingly, an unmarried woman, supporting the children of a deceased sister, is entitled to the homestead exemption. Arnold v. Waltz, 53 Iowa, 706, 36 Am. Rep. 248, 6 N. W. 40. And likewise an unmarried man supporting brothers or sisters dependent on and living with him. Greenwood v. Maddox, 27 Ark. 649; Marsh v. Lazenby, 41 Ga. 153. So, a woman supporting the children or grandchildren of a deceased husband (Wolfe v. Buckley, 52 Tex. 641; Holloway v. Holloway, 86 Ga. 576, 11 L. R. A. 518, 22 Am. St. Rep. 484, 12 S. E. 943), and a father for whom adult children living with him did work without wages (Bank of Versailles v. Guthrey, 127 Mo. 189, 48 Am. St. Rep. 621, 29 S. W. 1004), have been held to be entitled to claim the exemption. But one who supports relatives living with him who are independent of his support is not entitled to claim the homestead right. Harbison v. Vaughan, 42 Ark. 539; Ramey v. Allison, 64 Tex. 697. Nor is one who supports persons living with him who are not related to him. Bosquett v. Hall, 90 Ky. 566, 9 L. R. A. 351, 29 Am. St. Rep. 404, 13 S. W. 244; Galligar v. Payne, 34 La. Ann. 1057; Hill v. Franklin, 54 Miss. 632; Betts v. Mills, 8 Okla. 351, 58 Pac. 957; Whitehead v. Nickelson, 48 Tex. 517.