Abigial Salisbury and Ten children
The Purpose to A Big Family
It sounds difficult but it was the easy way to be a mom.
Today, because children are a burden, not a help or servant, we pity the
mother of a large family.
Before the industrial revolution, a large family was the way to the easy
life, and children were the remote controlled appliances.
It is estimated that over 80% of the population were on farms. Animal care
and crop preparation were a major part of the every-day work in order to
Without a good size family you had to hire labor and could expect major
Mom became the manager of lady/girl jobs and the boys did the man jobs
managed by dad.
A warmer home was also a benefit from a large family. One person can produce
roughly 850 BTU and with ten children you can use less fire wood.
The Children's morning chores included feeding animals. The girls would
feed, chickens, ducks, geese, and the boys would handle the larger animals
of horses, cows/cattle, and oxen. The girls would include family food preparation,
milking cows, and gathering eggs and fruit/vegtables while the boys cut
firewood and worked the crops. Each morning came with a new plan presented
by mom and dad. The parents discussed the following day's plan in bed
the night before.
The youngest girl was usually assigned to remove and clean the bed pans,
and the oldest girl (second in charge after mom) would be taking care of
the newest baby.
On many family group sheets, I discovered the oldest girl may stay single
later; however, if she gets married, she has no children.
Curiously, I have read and heard comments from children of the pre-industrial
(ag. society) complain about their lazy parents. "We did all the work
while they enjoyed the good life".
The pre-1900 period family would share a high-five palm clap for a friend
with ten little ones. It was the easy life.