Welsh - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Traditionally, a son's marriage was his Important transition to independence and adulthood. This concluded his major economic obligations to his parents. At this time they provided him with a farm, the implements, and livestock. There was a tendency to marry within the local Community if possible. Sons usually married in their late twenties or early thirties and daughters in their mid-or late twenties. The percentage of bachelors was relatively high. Courtship tended to be very lengthy. Today the number of children per family generally ranges between one and three.

Domestic Unit. The basic domestic unit is the nuclear family, which consists of either the husband and wife or the parents and their children. In the latter case this often includes unmarried adult sons acting as unpaid farm workers. A widow or widower who gave up farming traditionally preferred to live with a married daughter. A chosen son, in most cases a younger son, commonly inherited the parental farm.

Inheritance. From medieval times to the present each child has been entitled to his/her share of inheritance. Older siblings usually receive their shares in the form of purchased land, furnishings, and other goods at the time of their Marriage; the chosen heir, often the youngest son, succeeds to the parental land. The sex of the children, movement to the city, and other circumstances can influence these inheritance patterns.

Socialization. Traditionally discipline was maintained through a combination of corporal punishment, moral example, and religious teachings and exhortations, especially in the context of the nonconformist chapels. These were reinforced by an emphasis on the importance of schooling and knowledge in general.


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