Re: Reproductive ages for women in Poland in the 1800s #galicia

Stephen Weinstein

First, thank you to everyone who responded.

Since there was a request to post a summary of the findings to the
group, I will try:

The range of answers on the youngest that a Jewish woman could have a
child at that time and place goes >from 13 to 18. One person said they
did not marry until 18. Another said they married at 13. Strangely,
no one thought the first pregnancy could have been premarital.

The range of answers on the oldest that a woman could have child at
that time made even less sense:

One person said that menopause was around 40 and that women in their
mid-40's or older do not have viable eggs. Several others said that
women in their families gave birth in their late 40's, and one in her

The reports of women giving birth late in life should be taken with a
grain of salt for two reasons:

1. In general, and in JRI-Poland records especially, the date of
reporting is sometimes incorrectly thought to be the date of birth,
even though some births were not reported until many years later.

2. Many years ago, the Guiness Book decided that to restrict
eligibility for its record for the oldest woman to give birth to cases
where a doctor present at the birth stated whom the mother was. Its
stated reason for this decision was that there were several cases
where illegitimate children were falsely reported to be children of
their (married) grandmothers, rather than their unmarried mothers. I
do not know how true this is, but it seems plausible.

Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, CA, USA

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