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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Women may have married young in the early 1900s to avoid caring for many siblings

Women tended to marry at younger ages in the early 1900s, possibly as an alternative to becoming a caretaker for a large family of siblings.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ALLEN TULLOS:
Why did they marry that early.
GEORGIA:
Well they all had big houses full of children, but if somebody come along, no matter how old they was or nothing, they wanted to marry of their young 'uns, they'd say yes, all right, I reckon. My mother-in-law married when she was fourteen and he was ten years older than her.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The girls would welcome a chance to get out.
GEORGIA:
Yeah, yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So I guess your sister, we can say she ws sixteen when she got married, Mamie. And who took over, who kind of looked after the children then or were most of the children getting old enough so they didn't have to.
GEORGIA:
Yeah, they was watching after their self by then.