John Demos

in A Little Commonwealth

Second edition

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780195128901
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853960 | DOI:

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This chapter examines the typical membership of a colonial family in Plymouth Colony. It suggests that small and essentially nuclear families were standard during this period, contrary to the widely held belief that the norm was some sort of extended family, with a variety of kinship connections, all gathered under one roof. An analysis of the 1689 census reveals that a typical household usually had four to six members consisting of head-of-household, wife, children, and servant.

Keywords: colonial family; Plymouth Colony; nuclear families; extended family; census; household

Chapter.  7175 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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