The duration of marriages in Myrgorod regiment in 18th century: historical and demographic analysis

Vyacheslav Kruchinenko

Abstract


Introduction. The problem is important to study the history of marriage and family relations in Ukraine. Despite the fact that social institutions of marriage and family were and are the main component of the functioning of any society, the issue of the duration of marriages in the Hetmanate of the eighteenth century left out of the attention of specialists. According to this, there was a scientific necessity to at least fragmentarily study the problem of the duration of marriages in one of the regiments of the Left Bank of Ukraine, namely in Myrgorod regiment.

Purpose. The purpose of our research is to study the duration of marriages in the Myrgorod regiment of the 18th century, since this allows us to orientate in the family realities typical for the Hetmanate’s population as a whole and to understand how strong the family ties were in the early modern society.

Results. With the help of accounting and statistical sources (metric books and Rumyantsev description), we obtained the following results:

1) Short-term marriages (1-4 years) were less than 4.4%. In such family unions, the maximum age of marriage partners has reached 25 years. The lion’s share of these marriages lasted more than 2 years. The main reason for short-term marriages we consider to be the high mortality rate of men and women who became widowers/widows. Less important reasons for termination (cessation) of marriages for several years were the quarrels within the family or personal hostility to the marriage partner.

2) The largest number of marriages, recorded in the documents, were of medium duration (5-19 years), slightly less than 76%. Participants in these marriages were active people with small and adult children from 5 to 18 years old. The lion’s share of residents of the Myrgorod regiment became marital partners of medium-term family unions.

3) The strongest were long-term marriages (20 and> years), which accounted for almost 24%. The key to such a long family relationship, we think were the marriage partners’ habit to live together and lead a common household.

Originality.The scientific novelty of the research results is that for the first time in the Ukrainian and world historiography the author studied the issue of the duration of marriages in the Myrgorod regiment of the eighteenth century.

Conclusion. Conclusions and suggestions of the author: scholars who are studying the social history of the Hetmanate of the 18th century should pay attention to the poorly studied problem of the duration of marriages, since the study of this issue will allow to analyze deeper the institutes of marriage and families that functioned on the territory of the Left Bank of Ukraine.


Keywords


marriage, family, duration of marriages, metric books, Rumyantsev description, Myrgorod regiment, Hetmanate.

References


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