Puritan Family Order
Sneha & Megan
- Further religious beliefs
- Educate younger generations
- Maintain societal order
- Grow population
- Basic unit of society, economy, and church
A Typical Family
Consists of husband, wife, and 3 or 4 children; possibly 1 servant
Man / Father would sustain family and be one of the following: minister, cooper, hunter, miller, tanner, furrier, surveyor, etc.
Woman / Mother would help in the fields and with animals, and may have a trade such as candle maker, weaver, tailor, or midwife
- Raise food
- Make clothing and furniture
- Teach children to read and worship
- Care for each other when sick or old
- Maintain social order
Single women had more independence concerning financial and career-related affairs
Few conducted business outside of the home
Common law gave the use and profit of a woman’s real estate and the ownership of all her personal property and earnings to her husband
Wife abuse not uncommon
"The primary task of child rearing was to break down a child’s sinful will and internalize respect for divinely instituted authority through weekly catechisms, repeated admonitions, physical beatings, and intense psychological pressure”
High Infant Mortality rate: for 8-12 children born, 3-4 survive
Adults / Heads of Family most important
- Short life
- Religious training
- Work from young age
May be "put out"--sent to live with another family to be a servant or apprentice, cared for by the new family just as if the child were a biological family member
Marriage is a civil contract
- Marry into family of similar trade/status
- Love develops later
- Brides give dowries
High mortality; remarriages not uncommon
Either party can petition for divorce
- Selectmen / tithingmen and constables restored ‘good order’ in households
- In 1648, there was a Massachusetts law requiring the death penalty for stubborn or rebellious sons over 16 or those who struck or cursed their parents; younger children could be sent to other families
- In 1638 the Massachusetts Bay Colony required every town to "dispose of all single persons"
- "The father in early New England felt free to intervene in his children’s lives and to control their behavior. This included the right and duty to take an active role in his child’s selection of a spouse.” (In both courtship and marriage)
Klumpp, James F. "Puritan New England." University of Maryland. University System of Maryland, 15 Sept. 2011. Web. 05 Mar. 2013. <http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~jklumpp/comm460/lecture/ne.html>.
Richards, David. "Puritan Families." SUNY Oneonta. SUNY, n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2013. <http://employees.oneonta.edu/richards/family%20history/Puritan%20family.ppt>.
Vandergriff, Ken. "The Colonial Family in America." Campbell University. Campbell University, 2013. Web. 05 Mar. 2013. <http://web.campbell.edu/faculty/vandergriffk/FamColonial.html>.