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.
1 thought on “Berry R. Bridges”
I am a direct descendent of George B. Butler. He is my G-G-G-Grandfather. Amanda was his second wife and they had two children (boys) together. Amanda lived on the plantation next door to George Butler’s plantation. His first wife Sarah died at age 28 in early 1859 after her third child with George was born. She possibly died from complications attributed to childbirth. Mr. Bridges died sometime in 1858 at which time Amanda married a man named R.S. Forston. The marriage only lasted a year or just short of two years because Mr. Forston died in 1860. On December 3, 1861, Amanda and George Butler were married. At this time Amanda was raising George’s three boys plus her two daughters and a son from Mr. Bridges. After the two boys were born from George and Amanda, Amanda’s mother moved in with the couple to help with the 8 children in the household and she is listed on the 1870 census as E. Coborn (Elizabeth) age 76, and George and Amanda remained married until Amanda’s death in 1880. It is believed that Mr. Butler outlived her by another 25 years, but I don’t have verification of his 1905 date of death.