[APG Public List] mid-late 19th Century Marriage Time Preferences?

Kate Foote kate at comm1net.net
Thu Oct 7 09:07:05 MDT 2010

Well Michael, the obvious first question is: were the marriages followed by a birth before 9 months had elapsed? We have long, cold winters here in Northern Iowa - and not a lot for entertainment, which I imagine was even more the case in the late 19th century. :-) But I'm sure you've already checked for that. 

I know of no tradition that would make marriage in February or March preferable, nor have I seen a similar pattern in my research - which is heavily in Iowa, Minnesota, and a few Nebraska. Weather would be a consideration, especially if there was travel involved for guests, etc. Depending on the cause of the end of a previous marriage(s), death or divorce, a modest interim would have been expected before remarriage. Maybe the lady just liked those months. (I don't sound very professional, do I? But sometime we make our problems/brick walls taller than they really are.)

Consider yourself lucky; at least you have the times and places of Aunt Emma's nuptials! I have a grandmother, supposed to have been married 4-5 times, and can document none but marriage #1... I am questioning if grandma actually thought it necessary to "fuss and bother" with legalities?!

Good luck,

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Michael John Neill 
  To: APG APG Public 
  Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2010 9:44 AM
  Subject: [APG Public List] mid-late 19th Century Marriage Time Preferences?

  My newly "found" aunt has five (so far) documentable marriage dates between 1856 and 1883. Each marriage took place in either February or March, which seemed a little coincidental. Has anyone noticed anything in the way of "preferences" or tendencies for the time of a year for marriages during this time period? Or was it just that this lady apparently preferred marrying during those months. These marriages took place in Nebraska and Iowa. Aunt Emma has at least one other marriage, but I just don't have a date. 


  Michael John Neill
  Casefile Clues-Genealogy How-Tos


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