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Sex Before Marriage

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  • Michael Talibard
    started a topic Sex Before Marriage

    Sex Before Marriage

    Originally posted by Mike Deigan View Post
    is there a way to generate a list of births which occurred before the Parents Marriage date, or less than 9 months after the marriage date ???
    ... yes, thanks, I've seen that. But the majority of these events in my family fall in the "shotgun wedding" window
    Mike—
    Some years ago, I made and published a study (of the years 1841 to 1891) of a particular village in the west of the island of Jersey. The details are local, but a similar picture is to be found elsewhere. Briefly, marriages in this 'window' were generally not 'shotgun' in character. The relevant paragraphs of that article read as follows:

    From the farms, the young men often went off to sea, leaving their girls behind. This sometimes created embarrassment, as in the following case. Philippe Mauger, youngest son of Jean Mauger, became a mariner, and his first child was born in his absence five months before the wedding, so it is apparent that he had jumped the gun before going off to sea.

    He then returned, and the baby was legitimised at his wedding to Anne Le Cornu in 1864, recorded in the standard formula: “Les dites parties ont présenté un enfant du nom de Philippe Edouard, né le 5 Nov 1863, qu’elles ont reconnu et déclaré leur enfant légitime et habile à hériter.” (The said parties presented a child named Philip Edward, born 5/11/1863, whom they recognised and declared to be their legitimate son, able to inherit.)

    This is the only such example I have found in the village within my time-frame, but I don’t think it was particularly unusual. In point of fact, sex before marriage was normal in this little society. We know this because we can compare dates of marriage with dates of birth of first children. Two thirds of all marriages produced their first child sooner than nine months after the wedding — so two thirds of all brides were pregnant on their wedding day.

    However, these couples were almost certainly betrothed when they began sexual relations: such was the custom. Although pre-marital sex on this accepted basis was quite normal, the same certainly cannot be said of extra-marital sex, which was very rare. There is just one known example in the village: in 1881, Philip Boudier Le Cornu’s birth registration gives him the surname of his mother, Maria Ann Le Cornu; no father is recorded. This baby soon died, and three years later, Maria married a stonemason, Alfred Le Huquet.

    If you'd like to read the whole article, it is here:
    https://medium.com/@JU3ALS/jersey-lo...s-a0ee409af3ef
    Hope this is of interest.

  • Mike Deigan
    replied
    Re: Sex Before Marriage

    thx, interesting

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