Thursday, March 6, 2014

Your Age, Please? Age at Marriage


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You were how old when you got married???

Genealogy tip for the day: Your Age, Please?

The age of an ancestor is indicative of clues that we don’t always think about. Did typical events of life follow a somewhat normal pattern or are there some anomalies? Is there anything out of the ordinary about a given age on a record? What if various records don’t have the same, consistent information?  These are some of the things we need to think about when researching. Today we’ll look at a person’s age in relation to their marriage.

Age at Marriage
The ages of the couple at the time of their marriage can be a clue for a lot of things. Are they 'of age'; are they far apart in age; or are they elderly when they marry? Is there something out of the ordinary? What are some of the things that their ages may indicate? (Did the record say the bride was 18 mos. or 18 years?)

Age at marriage needs to be looked at closely in case there is a possibility that a person may not be ‘of age’ to marry without consent. The bride or groom may fudge on their age if they are still a minor. This is an example, or case where comparing the marriage record to the birth record may give you different results than what you find actually recorded. In your own records, if you find this to be the case, it should be noted that so-and-so’s age was really such-and-such contrary to what the records indicate then give your reasons for your conclusion.

If you find that a person who marries is listed a minor, you should also find a record, statement or entry where a parent gives permission for their son or daughter to marry. Often the age for ladies to marry without consent is 16 or 18. For the gentleman it is frequently 18 or maybe even 21. It varies from state to state.

Age at the time of marriage also may be a clue for other information. If you find a large age spread, there might be a case of a second marriage or more. For example say the husband is 55 and the wife is 19. This could indicate that the husband had been married before. Or the reverse of that could be - when a spouse outlives the other by many years, maybe there were more marriages for him.  I have a situation in my family tree where a husband out lived his wife by 25 years. She was middle age when she died. He was elderly.  This leaves open the possibility for other marriages. It is not proof, but it does allow for the possibility. A person who outlives their spouse just a very few years is not apt to marry again. One who outlives the other by many years may possibly marry again. This is probably truer when children are involved.

(On the other hand: I could give you two examples out of my immediate family that would disprove that theory.) It’s hard to be absolute when there are so many variables.

When there is a wide spread age difference between couples, check and see if the wife received a military pension from a war, long ago. I have personally read of two situations where the wife married an elderly man who had been a soldier, one from the Revolutionary War and one from the Civil War. The widows lived well into the next century receiving benefits. Placing a person’s age against a timeline of history helps to put it into perspective and helps you analyze and maybe even surmise events that took place in their life. Putting both spouses on the same timeline can give clues as well. (The husband serves in a war, and his future bride hasn't been born yet, as suggested above.)

For ages in relation to marriage, here are some things to watch for then:
  One or both spouses young – are they minors? Look for consent form; or out of state marriage.
 One or both spouses of age, but doesn't match birth record. They lied, …maybe. J - did they go out of state?
He started farming when???
Spouses (one or both) much older at marriage – is there a previous marriage?
 Big age difference in spouses – was one married before?
Big age difference and husband dies – are there pension records for ‘older’ wars.
Big age difference - are there children from a previous marriage? (Are their surnames the same or different? - this helps suggest which parent had been married before.)

Next time: Conclusion

“History is who we are; Genealogy is who I am” sg

If any of these posts are helpful drop us a line in the comments section below. We just want to know if the information we provide to you is beneficial in anyway.

Ferdinand Magellan

March 6

Ferdinand Magellan discovers Guam.

The Missouri Compromise is enacted by Congress and signed by President James Monroe, providing for the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave state, but prohibits slavery in the rest of the northern Louisiana Purchase territory.

After fighting for 13 days, the Alamo falls.

Giuseppe Verdi's opera La Traviata premieres in Venice.

The Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision holds that blacks cannot be citizens.

While campaigning for the presidency, Abraham Lincoln makes a speech defending the right to strike.

The USS Monitor left New York with a crew of 63, seven officers and 56 seamen.

Over 100 suffragists, led by Susan B. Anthony, present President Chester A. Arthur with a demand that he voice support for female suffrage.

Louisa May Alcott dies just hours after the burial of her father.

Aspirin is patented following Felix Hoffman's discoveries about the properties of acetylsalicylic acid.

A would-be assassin tries to kill Wilhelm II of Germany in Bremen.

German Prince Wilhelm de Wied is crowned as King of Albania.

The Allies recapture Fort Douamont in France during the Battle of Verdun.

A Communist attack on Beijing results in 3,000 dead and 50,000 fleeing to Swatow.

In Spain, Jose Miaja takes over Madrid government after a military coup and vows to seek "peace with honor."

British RAF fliers bomb Essen and the Krupp arms works in the Ruhr, Germany.

Cologne, Germany, falls to General Courtney Hodges' First Army.

Winston Churchill opposes the withdrawal of troops from India.

During talks in Berlin, the Western powers agree to internationalize the Ruhr region.

Upon Josef Stalin's death, Georgi Malenkov is named Soviet premier.

The Swiss grant women the right to vote in municipal elections.

The United States announces that it will send 3,500 troops to Vietnam.

President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his plan to establish a draft lottery.

President Richard Nixon imposes price controls on oil and gas.

Iran and Iraq announce that they have settled the border dispute.

Islamic militants in Tehran say that they will turn over the American hostages to the Revolutionary Council.

President Reagan announces plans to cut 37,000 federal jobs.

The British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes in the Channel off the coast of Belgium. At least 26 are dead.
Born on March 6

Michelangelo Buonarroti, painter, sculptor and architect.

Elizabeth Barret Browning, poet (Sonnets from the Portuguese).

Philip Henry Sheridan, Union Army general.

Ring Lardner, writer (You Know Me, Al).

Richard Leo Simon, publisher, partner of Max Schuster.

Lou Costello, American comedian, partner of Bud Abbott.

Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Columbian-born novelist (One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera).

Valentina Nikolayeva-Tereshkova, Russian astronaut, the first woman to orbit the Earth.

Dame Kiri Te Kannawa, operatic soprano.

Dame Kiri Te Kannawa



verb tr., intr.: To swell, inflate, or extend.

From Latin dis- (away, apart) + tendere (to stretch). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which is also the source of tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, tenable, tenuous, extenuate, countenance, pertinacious, and detente. Earliest documented use: 1400.

"My lungs felt inefficient, distended, like balloons full of water."
Edwin Cameron; Was I Ready to Be a Judge with HIV?; Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg, South Africa); Feb 7, 2014.
See more usage examples of distend in's dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Fame is very agreeable, but the bad thing is that it goes on 24 hours a day. -Gabriel García Márquez, novelist, journalist, Nobel laureate (b. 1927)

Today’s Recipe
March - Breakfast Foods

1 prepared thin pizza crust (about 10 ounces), such as Boboli
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 large eggs
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and squeezed dry, reserving 1 tablespoon of the liquid
1 cup chopped onion, about 1 medium onion
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Brush the pizza crust on both sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place crust directly onto the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
While the crust is cooking, break the eggs into a bowl and add the reserved spinach liquid. Whisk them well and season them with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to a 10-inch skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the dry spinach, breaking up the pieces, and heat through, about 2 minutes. Scrape the vegetable mixture into the eggs and beat it well to distribute the spinach evenly. Turn the heat down to low and pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Gently stir the eggs until they are just set and still moist, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Spread the egg mixture evenly onto the baked pizza crust and top with the cheese. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Serve hot.


Now You Know!