By Mary K. Geiter, W.A Speck
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Additional resources for Colonial America: From Jamestown to Yorktown
These began to experience a rise in the proportion of the population which married, and even an increase in illegitimate births. There are also signs that couples married at an earlier age, which had an impact on the birth rate, causing the population to grow again in the eighteenth century. The mean age at marriage of brides dropped from over 25 to under that. Where this occurred, it could have the effect of reducing the period in which the population would double from 200 years to 40. Thus, where the early seventeenth century was an era of austerity, the later years saw unprecedented prosperity.
In 1682 the Privy Council refused a proprietary grant south of the Carolinas to Lord Dorchester on the grounds that it was not convenient for the King ‘to consolidate any new proprietary in America nor to grant any further powers that might render the plantations less dependent on the Crown’. The desire to bring the colonies more firmly under control is to be seen in the issue of writs of quo warranto, asking by what warrant those which were not Crown colonies exercised their authority. Besides Massachusetts, writs were prepared against Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the Carolinas.
They were brought up by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles who lived in the same dwelling or in close proximity. After a rudimentary education, boys were employed on the family farm or in their father’s trade, while girls went into domestic service with a local family. They chose their marriage partners from among their contemporaries whom they had known since childhood. After raising families themselves, they died surrounded by familiar faces and were buried alongside their ancestors in the parish churchyard.
Colonial America: From Jamestown to Yorktown by Mary K. Geiter, W.A Speck