Word Origin & History
mid-14c., "property of the Church," also "spiritual legacy of Christ," from O.Fr. patrimonie (12c.), from L. patrimonium "a paternal estate, inheritance," from pater (gen. patris) "father" + -monium, suffix signifying action, state, condition. Meaning "property inherited from a father or ancestors"
is attested from late 14c. Fig. sense of "immaterial things handed down from the past" is from 1580s. A curious sense contrast to matrimony