We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When Judith Somerby married Tristram Coffin in March of 1653, she was a widow with three children: Sarah, who was eight, Elizabeth, who was six, and Daniel, almost three. (Another son had died in infancy.) In the next sixteen years Judith gave birth to ten Coffin children, all of whom, remarkably, survived infancy. There is an almost saucy irony in the family name, as though some wind of Yankee humor had swept Puritan Newbury. Death seldom visited the Coffins.
By the time Judith's last baby was born in March 1669 she already had six grandchildren. From 1667 until her death in 1705 - twenty-eight years - at least one grandchild was born each year. In the most prolific period from 1686 to 1696, thirty eight infants were born, almost four a year. Judith's gravestone should probably be taken literally when its says she lived to see 177 descendants...
Puritan New England had one of the highest birth rates in history.
Assistant Village Idiot
A few years ago, I happened upon a book about sex in America, circa 1700 on the Internet Archive. As you might expect it was about New England. I only perused it; not expect anything salacious since their source material were church records in Puritan New England. But I did notice one recurring theme. Seems often there would be a report of a young boy and girl confessing to fornication before the congregation. Many implied that the girl held the evidence in her arms who had apparently arrived a bit quickly after the marriage.
Probably later in the colonial period, unless we are talking about the notorious seaports of Boston and Salem. Such confessions did occur in the context of the Great Awakening. But that may tell us more about attitude than about frequency. In the late 1600's in Middlesex County, the rate of first children being born in less than nine months after the wedding was amazingly low. (See David Hackett Fischer's data in Albion's Seed.)
Maturity, adulthood or the age of consent is a social artifact. Physically children are adults at about 13 give or take a year. Mentally today they are adults in their late 20's if you're lucky but 100 years ago they were mentally adults at 14 or so. Everything else is we think about being an adult is simply our social bias.
"And too soon marr'd are those so early made." Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet. Interesting that he would pen this comment on too-early marriage of young girls.
That being said, I attended the funeral of a colleague last year. Hadn't known her story, but she was a young bride who started life on a "homestead" without running water and had her children very early. We lost her - untimely - to brain cancer.