Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere: AiG Seem to be Wrong on How Long one's a Child · Φιλολoγικά/Philologica: Wrong Question Answered, Melissa
What question does this answer? This quote:
Maintaining the trend, by the end of the 19th century, the median age when women were first getting married was between 22 and 24 years old, and this tendency continued into the 1940s.
In fact, the lowest median age of first marriage since the early 1700s was had by the baby boom generation, where the age dropped to 20.5 years in 1950.
It answers the question whether the median age at first marriage was teens, and the answer was obviously no.
What was the question in the title?
WHEN DID TEEN GIRLS STOP COMMONLY GETTING MARRIED?
February 18, 2014 Melissa, Today I Found Out
The question was not whether teen girls at a given point in time were getting married in over 50 % of the cases (in which case the median age would certainly be in the teens). It was whether the practise was common, or was seen as exceptional.*
Let's go to Percent Ever Married for 15–19. The decades refer to "birth cohorts"**...
Southern-born Whites, Males, the 1821 - 1830 has 3.4 % and 1871 - 1880 it is down to 2.0 %.
Let's go to Females, the 1821 - 1830 has 17.3 % and the 1871 - 1880 it is down to 16.5 %.
If 16.5 - 17.3 won't land the median age at marriage into the teens, it is also certainly not "uncommon" ....
Now, let's go to Mean Age at Marriage - it doesn't say "mean age at first marriage" even ...
Southern-born Whites, Males, those born 1821 - 1830, it's 26.4 years and those born 1871 - 1880, it's 26.3 years.
Let's go to Females, the birth cohort 1821 - 1830, it's 22.2 years, and those born 1871 - 1880, it's rising to 22.5 years.
Perhaps the reason isn't they were frowning on teen marriages, but that losing the Civil War made it less affordable to white ladies of the South?
Anyway, a teen girl married born in 1875 and married by 1890 or before 1895 was nothing exceptional, even if it was not the most common occurrence either. Melissa on Today I Found Out did a sloppy job in 2014. After all, she could have gone to Journal of Southern History in 2010, I could find it with a google on:
age at first marriage us census 19th c
But even more - simple knowledge of mathematics, statistics, would mean that "median" is not the same as "minimum" any more than the same as "maximum" ..
However, she was right to quote:
Medieval Maidens: Young Women and Gender in England, C.1270-c.1540
Kim M. Philips, Manchester University Press, 28 June 2003 - 246 pages
It seems, while nobility married girls off at median 16 in the Middle Ages (after my own statistics) there was a sizeable portion of a non-noble sample that married between 18 and 22. Could it be, again, because the non-nobles were less readily affording marriage at 16?
Hans Georg Lundahl
St. Mark the Gospeller
Alexandriae natalis beati Marci Evangelistae. Hic, discipulus et interpres Apostoli Petri, rogatus Romae a fratribus scripsit Evangelium, quo assumpto, perrexit in Aegyptum, primusque Alexandriae Christum annuntians, constituit Ecclesiam; ac postea, pro fide Christi tentus, funibus vinctus et per saxa raptatus, graviter afflictus est; deinde, reclusus in carcere, primo angelica visitatione confortatus est, et demum, ipso Domino sibi apparente, ad caelestia regna vocatus, octavo Neronis anno.
ERRATUM, I seem to have mixed up table 1 and table 2. It's table 2 that is
Nuptiality Measures for the Native-Born White Population by Birth Cohort and Section of Birth
and where I found the stats I gave. Table one starts out in 1850 and is not restricted to Native White, but would include immigration from Europe, possibly also people born in Viejo Norte prior to its becoming US States.
In table 1, West–North Central Census Region starts out with 20.5 % women married 15 - 19 in 1850, but it sinks to 13 % by 1880, West–South Central Census Region has over 24 % in 1850 and 1880, somewhat below that, but above 20 % in 1860 and 1870, and Mountain and Pacific Census Regions has 32.4 % in 1860 (no stats for 1850), down to 27.5 % in 1870, and to 15.1 % in 1880. Probably the growing affluence means, it becomes harder and harder to marry young in this region./HGL
* I'll be taking my statistics from here:
The Effect of the Civil War on Southern Marriage Patterns
J South Hist. 2010 Feb; 76(1): 39–70.
J. David Hacker, Libra Hilde, and James Holland Jones
Table 1, Nuptiality Measures for the White Population of the United States, 1850–1880, source: 1850–1880 IPUMS samples,
further explanation in a footnote:
Only white marriage patterns can be ascertained in the prewar period; the 1850 and 1860 censuses enumerated slaves in a separate, more limited population schedule, and because the slave schedule did not group or identify family members, it is impossible to infer marital status and estimate age at marriage. These samples are part of the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) created at the Minnesota Population Center (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, Minneapolis). Ruggles Steven, et al. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 3.0. Minneapolis: 2004.....
** In other words, if 17.3 % of the Southern girls' birth cohort 1821 to 1830 were married at a date before 20, this means that of 1000 girls born that decade, even counting those who died before the teens, perhaps only 950 survived to the teens, perhaps less, 173 married before age 20.