JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen RE: Marrying at Age 13 #general


Wegner, Peter
 

Lin Mor wrote:

Yes, young women did get married quite young! Both of
my maternal great grandmothers had early marriages, my
maternal grandmother's parents were 13 and 15 when
they married.
Dear Linda,

Their ability to do that would have depended on where they lived. Although my
mother's Anglo-Dutch Jewish ancestors were born in England already before 1800,
they and their descendants in the first half of the 19th century rarely married
before the bride had turned 18 -- and often the bridegrooms were quite a lot
older than the brides. This was in London. (And by the late 19th century, the
brides in my family were rarely under 21.) I imagine the situation would have
been similar among Jews in France or Germany.

So, which country were you speaking of, exactly? As these were your
greatgrandparents, it surely can't have been before 1850, and could be quite a
bit later than that. Most European countries by that time would not permit a
13-year old girl to marry.

But it's worth noting that Jewish law does in fact allow a girl of that age
to be handed over to her husband for cohabitation ( this assumes that they were
officially married earlier but she had remained, as Jewish law requires, in her
father's house until she reached 12 and a half years and one day.

Judith Romney Wegner
jrw@brown.edu

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