Anybody who does transcription work in the 1850 census, will be amazed at the age difference between husband and wife. Or maybe they won’t. There are still marriages today where one spouse is more then 10 years older then the other. But during the 1850’s this was very common. I found an interesting marriage in the 1850 census, which showcases the age difference.

Berry R. Bridges (listed as B. R. Bridges in the 1850 census) age 45, is listed with wife, Amanda, age 17. Now I’m positive they’re married, and that Amanda isn’t just listed with Berry as column 10 was x’d for both of them, indicating that they had been married within the past year. Which one got the best catch, is left up for the family historians to decide. Berry got a young wife, and Amanda got a rich husband. Berry was one of Lawrence County’s richest residents during the 1850 census. By the 1860 census Amanda is living with three children, and has the wealth attributed to her. Obviously, Berry died during 1850-1860.

In the 1860 census, a new wrinkle appears… the actual age difference widens. While Amanda is listed as 17 in the 1850 census, she claims she is only 25 in the 1860 census. That would have made her 15-16 years of age in 1850, not 17 as was annotated.

On 3 December 1861, an Amanda A. Bridges is married to George B. Butler in Lawrence County, Mississippi (Ancestry Mississippi Marriage Database). Whether or not this is the same Amanda Bridges has not yet been ascertained.

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