Town & Country magazine's staff initially selected 200 families, then scored them using criteria: inspiration, endurance, generosity, power, creativity. The staff created a composite score for each family and used that to select the 50 families. To be eligible, the family must be socially prominent today and prominence must date back at least two consecutive generations.
The Most Enduring family is the du Pont family.
Seen here, the three du Pont brothers, from left, Irenee, Pierre Samuel, and Lammot, stand under a portrait of their father Lammot du Pont, in Wilmington, Del., on June 1949.
America's 50 most prominent families named