It is important to remember that the laws governing inheritance are determined by state statute and can change over time and vary from one state to another. If you are familiar with Kansas in the 1890s, that does not mean you are familiar with how inheritance works in Virginia in 1750. This is particularly true for those individuals who die without a will and sometimes even for those who do. State statutes may provide the answer to your question. Just make certain they are contemporary to your problem.