The farmer's wife is an essential partner in making the farm a successful social and economic unit. She is responsible for bearing and raising the children, preparing meals, making the family's clothes, cleaning, as well as various chores around the farm, some of which help to bring in an income.
VILLAGE BUILDINGS
Blacksmith's Workshop
Blacksmith's Workshop

 
Church
Church

 
General Store
General Store

 
Weaver's Home
Weaver's Home

 
Shoemaker's Workshop
Shoemaker's Workshop


Post Office
Post Office

 
Tinsmith's Workshop
Tinsmith's Workshop

 
Farmhouse
Farmhouse

 
Joiner's Workshop
Joiner's Workshop

 
Schoolhouse
Schoolhouse

 
IN THE FARMHOUSE

Most farm women follow in the footsteps of their mothers, learning how to do household and farm chores as young girls and teenagers. By the end of the 1800s, most women also have at least enough education to be able to read and write. Schooling stops at the primary level, at age fourteen, unless a girl has shown a particular aptitude and the family can afford to send her to a convent school. Employment opportunities for rural women, even educated ones, remain few. Some might become paid servants for another family, move away to work in a factory or textile mill, or, if they have the education, become teachers. In each case, they hope that after a few years they can contribute some of their earnings towards starting their own households. Most women, however, stay in their parents' home until marriage.

Family and parish events provide opportunities for young women and men to meet. If sufficient interest and affection develops between a couple, a courtship might last two or more years, always carefully monitored by parents. It is not unusual for rural women to marry in their late teens and most will have done so by age twenty-five. Farm families are large, it being common for women to have ten to twelve children.

    Date created: May 13, 2008 | Last updated: June 30, 2010