Tenancy by the Curtesy Law and Legal Definition

A tenancy by the curtesy arises where a man marries a woman seized of an estate of inheritance, that is, of land and tenements in fee simple or fee tail, and has by her issue born alive, which was capable of inheriting her estate. [Snyder v. Jones, 99 Md. 693 (Md. 1904)]

“By the common law, tenancy by the curtesy, is an estate for life, created by the act of the law. When a man marries a woman, seized at any time during the coverture, of an estate of inheritance in severalty, in coparcenary, or in common, and hath issue by her born alive, and which might, by possibility, inherit the same estate as heir to the wife, and the wife dies in the lifetime of the husband, he holds the land during his life, and it is immaterial whether the issue be living at the time of the seizin, or at the death of the wife, or whether it was born before or after the seizin.” [McDaniel v. Grace, 15 Ark. 465 (Ark. 1855)].