Author Topic: Why did only sons survive?  (Read 1102 times)

Online avm228

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 22 November 18 17:27 GMT (UK) »
There may just be no rhyme or reason about it. Each child could have died from any number of causes - birth defects (e.g. heart), prematurity, malnutrition, infectious disease (whether epidemic or not), non-infectious disease, accidents such as suffocation in bed, poisoning from teething potions, etc etc.

Some families will have suffered repeated infant deaths due to specific causes such as mitochondrial disease (as we would now understand it), rhesus disease (as we would now understand it), congenital syphilis or a tendency in the mother towards premature delivery, but without knowing any of the circumstances in your family any guess will just be a stab in the dark.  There is no reason to think any of these would favour the survival of male infants rather than female.
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Offline youngtug

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #10 on: Thursday 22 November 18 18:40 GMT (UK) »
I see you do not list parish records amongst your sources, sometimes cause of death was noted on them.
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Online Maiden Stone

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 22 November 18 22:27 GMT (UK) »
I see you do not list parish records amongst your sources, sometimes cause of death was noted on them.

I've also seen cause of death on some cemetery burial registers.

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 22 November 18 23:07 GMT (UK) »
I see you do not list parish records amongst your sources, sometimes cause of death was noted on them.

You beat me to it


xin

Offline Gillg

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #13 on: Friday 23 November 18 12:27 GMT (UK) »
My grandfather born 1863 was the only one of the six boys born to his parents to survive infancy.  Some of them were stillborn, most a few days old at death.  Four girls, however, all survived to a ripe old age.  Looking at his mother's family I found that her (gt-grandmother's) sister had similar problems.  She had three sets of twins from whom only one girl survived.  In the following generation only girls were born to both my grandmother and her sister.  It looks as though the female children of this family were stronger. My grandfather died aged 59, but his 4 sisters all lived to their 80s.   
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.

Offline ThrelfallYorky

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #14 on: Friday 23 November 18 16:26 GMT (UK) »
One very old lady that I talked with many years ago was reminiscing about her wider family, who were poor upland farmers, and mentioned in a very matter of fact way that her father and his brothers had had a hard life growing up, and their sisters had not survived to adulthood because if food was short, the men and boys got what there was, as they had to work!
Sounded brutal to us, today, doesn't it. but I suspect in many poor countries today it may be the same. I think she was speaking of people growing up in the second half of the 19th Century.
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Offline aghadowey

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #15 on: Friday 23 November 18 17:39 GMT (UK) »
As others have mentioned, there may not be any pattern to female deaths in the family but I do know a couple who had a daughter (died at birth) then three healthy boys. I don't know the medical details but apparently there was a genetic reason why the daughter (and any other daughters) would not survive long after birth. In my own family there is a (large) family where all the boys have PKU (Phenylketonuria) but none of the girls have inherited the disease themselves. However, without causes of death anything is mere speculation.
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Offline mgeneas

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #16 on: Friday 23 November 18 19:43 GMT (UK) »
My grandmother born 1898 the 7th of 8 children told of her father having meat with his dinner, the rest of the family had vegetables and gravy. He had a heavy job in a foundry and needed the protein.

After meals they would say 'Thank you Lord for what I've had. If there had been a bit more I would have been glad.

Offline Gillg

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Re: Why did only sons survive?
« Reply #17 on: Saturday 24 November 18 09:13 GMT (UK) »
My mother-in-law told me that during the wartime and post-war rationing period near enough all the meat ration was given to her husband, a plumber and builder, so in a reserved occupation, and the rest of the family just had vegetables from the allotment and gravy.  To this day my husband doesn't like meat.
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.