In this paper, we investigate what late timing of marriage combined with neo-locality in early modern Western Europe actually implied for the likelihood of upward intergenerational support. In our analysis of genealogical data from the Netherlands (1650–1899) we show that due to high marriage ages and small spousal age gaps, life cycles of children and their parents were going through difficult periods at the same time, with the elderly as potential victims. To some extent, the risk of ‘hardship’ was compensated for by relatively small geographical distances between the parental and children’s households, allowing for exchange of support. We discuss our outcomes in the broader context of alternative options and elderly care arrangements that were developed from the early modern period onwards.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This paper is part of the VIDI-project ‘Nature or nature? A search for the institutional and biological determinants of life expectancy in Europe during the early modern period’ funded by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (276–53-008) See also: www.collective-action.info.
This paper is part of the VIDI-project ?Nature or nature? A search for the institutional and biological determinants of life expectancy in Europe during the early modern period? funded by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (276?53-008) See also: www.collective-action.info. We would like to thank the participants of the ESSHC-session (Valencia, 31 March 2016) and the VIDI-expert meeting for their valuable feedback, Auke Rijpma for his methodological support, and Bob Coret from Genealogieonline.nl who has been an invaluable help in providing access to genealogies of which a substantial amount have been used in our research.
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