Sunday, February 7, 2010

Marriage Numbers

Playing with numbers in the 1899 Crittenden County, Kentucky marriages revealed some interesting results. Forget the notion that most brides were about age 16 when they married. Of the 130 plus marriages recorded for 1899, I found that the average age for brides was 22. The youngest bride was age 14 and the oldest bride was age 48.

The numbers were a little different for men. The average age for bridegrooms was 27. The youngest bridegroom was age 17 and the oldest was 75. I also found that more men married at older ages than women. It was not unusual for a man to marry when he was in his 60s, sometimes chalking up his second or third or, in one case, his fourth marriage.

If either of the couple was under age 21, a parent or guardian had to give written or verbal consent. Few of these consent notes have survived in Crittenden County.

Marriages for Caucasian and African-American couples were recorded in separate books at this time. The African-American marriage books did not include the ages of the couple and, thus, are not included in this survey.

Crittenden County first recorded personal information on the bride and bridegroom in the middle of 1898, although other counties recorded this information much earlier.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

Very interesting. I would guess that the main reason that many older men married several times was that their wife or wives had died in childbirth.