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All my life I've heard that girls married young "back then." It's not always clear what the speaker meant by "back then" but there's always this indication that girls were married off very young during previous centuries.

Now, that is obviously true in some cultures. It still happens today in some places. And there were times when children of rulers and great lords were officially married at very young ages, even though the actual marriage took place years later. I also have read of cases where extremely young girls in American frontiers were married to settlers who thus became eligible for more acreage.

But I'm not finding much evidence of that early marriage within my family. In fact, if I find someone who was married at the age of 14 I start digging to see if two women with the same name were mixed up. And I consider my ancestors to be pioneers on the frontier. They may have been living in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but they were killed by Indians while in the fields, they were building homes in unsettled territory, and children were kidnapped and raised by the tribes, so I think that they qualify as pioneers.

Are other people finding that what they were told about history and customs doesn't always match up to reality?

Am I posting too much? Should I quiet down?
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