I’ve been reading “Jonathan Edwards: A Life” by George M. Marsden the past week.  If you couldn’t tell by the title, it’s a biography on the life of Jonathan Edwards.  The book has been engaging and stimulating, even for a biography. 

One part that completely caught me by surprise was the average marrying age of Northampton in the late 1720s and early 1730s.  From my previous understanding of marriage history (which is very limited), I would assume people during this era would have been married by, at the latest, their twentieth birthday.  I’ve always been under the impression that “back in the day,” people were marrying a lot younger and today’s marriage culture is a new phenomenon.  The “new” concept of marriage at an older age may not always have been the norm.  As Marsden points out, most men and women in Northampton around 1730 were in their late twenties when married (Edwards was early/mid twenties).  Now, this may have been a fluke and a rare occurrence, but shows that our “new” marriage culture may not be so new after all. 

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