Age of Mother at Birth of Oldest Child

Once again the, shall we say, idiosyncracies of my family’s experience have been powerfully impressed on me. In the comments to this post of James Joyner’s I wondered about the age at which women married and had children in the past, citing my own family’s history.

Here are the ages at which the last three generations of women in my direct family line had their eldest children.

Relationship Age of mother at birth of oldest child
Mother 26
Paternal grandmother 18
Maternal grandmother 24
Paternal grandfather’s mother ?
Paternal grandmother’s mother 27
Maternal grandfather’s mother 19
Maternal grandmother’s mother 21

This is consistent in that it is, apparently, inconsistent with the common experience. There are no farmers in my family; my family was urban—burghers or bohemians;my family varied in prosperity from quite affluent to desperately poor. And, as you can see from the above, my female ancestors tended to bear their children in their mid to late twenties rather than in their teens.

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