Hi! Winnie Griggs here. My latest title, Her Holiday Family, which released this month, features ten orphan children who invade my heroine’s home and that upset her orderly life in a BIG way – especially since their handsome caretaker comes with the package 🙂
Anyway, that got me to thinking about large families and how the average family size has changed over the years. So I did a little research that I wanted to share with you today.
Since the National Birth Registration system wasn’t put into place until 1933, it’s hard to identify exact trends behind the existing census data, but even so we can see general overall trends in the numbers themselves.
Most experts in the field of census data research, however, estimate that in 1800, the average household in America included seven to eight children. A hundred years later in 1900 this figure had dropped to three to four.
There were many reasons for this. In earlier years, there was the expectation that not all children a woman bore would survive early childhood. As our medical knowledge increased, this became less of an issue. There are also economic reasons – in the 1800s, when most Americans lived on family farms, children were expected to help support the family by taking on chores around the place. As the industrial age dawned, however, and many families moved from farms to cities, children began to be seen as more of an expense to be budgeted for. And of course changing mores on the issue of birth control contributed to this as well.
But large families haven’t completely disappeared. I’m a prime example of that. My own father was one of twelve siblings. I’m the oldest of five. My husband is one of six. And he and I have four children of our own. So extended family gatherings on either side of our family tend to be large and boisterous.
So what about you? Do you come from a large family or a more intimate one?
And in honor of this being release month, I plan to give away a copy of Her Holiday Family to at least one visitor who leaves a comment on this today.
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What happens when a straight-laced young widow’s home is invaded by ten rambunctious orphans and their handsome caretaker just in time for the holidays…
Reserved widow Eileen Pierce never considered herself the kind of woman who was cut out to be a mother. She wouldn’t know what to do with one child, much less ten. But when handyman Simon Tucker is stranded in town with a group of young orphans just before Thanksgiving, she discovers she can’t just turn them away.
Simon knows there’s more to Eileen than meets the eye. Though his easygoing demeanor immediately clashes with her buttoned-up propriety, Simon’s kindness soon melts Eileen’s stern facade. Simon and the children have already upended Eileen’s quiet, orderly life. Will they do the same to her guarded heart?