French Settlers - Family
- The low number of women in French Illinois led
many women to marry in their late teens. When a census was taken,
girls over age 12 were listed as marriageable. Wives handled family
financial matters when husbands were absent. Women acquired
significant wealth and authority as widows.
- Many Frenchmen wed Indian women. Their children
became a large part of the French population.
- Many children were born in colonial Illinois.
Only half lived to maturity. An average family had 3
- Boys over age 12 were considered old enough to
carry guns and defend the settlement. Males were legal minors until
age 25, and females until age 18.
Image: Henry Howe, Historical
Collections of the Great West, Cincinnati: H. Howe,
How do they compare? Native
Americans | French Settlers | African Slaves
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