Enkestand og gjengifte blant borgerenker i Bergen mellom 1783-1844. Strategi, næringsdrift og forsørgelse
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The subject of this thesis is concerning a group of widows in Bergen. They had four options by widowhood, remarriage, support by family, or by the government and maintaining the household, either by their own work or by their own assets. I have studied 40 widows that lived between 1723 and1844, but my main focus has been on the period between 1783 and1833. The widows were all members of the bourgeois or the middle class and had other and far better opportunities than other widows that were of a lower class. Their husbands had been traders and most of the widows in the group continued their husbands' trade for some time. I have examined which of the four alternatives the widows ended up with, and to which extent they remarried or used other means. I have primarily used financial sources such as tax records to determine whether they took over their husband's trading as they had a right to it, or they were listed as property owners as for the latter I have compared with the land registration protocols. In addition to this I have also used parish records and censuses to determine household structure and content, and seen how the widow's age, finances and burden of care in the household affect her options. The study confirms the findings in the research literature where the widow's age is of great importance for if she is remarried or not, and shows that many widows carries on trading regardless of whether they later get remarried or not. One can get the impression that widows were freer to choose what suited them because they had more opportunities. And many did not just stick to one option but chose different options at different times during widowhood period.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
- History 377
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