Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

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Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby brenta » 21 Mar 2014, 14:43

I have a relative who was married in London and then again shortly afterwards in a church in Italy however according to the year of birth I have on the English marriage certificate she would have only been 15. Would this have been allowed in Italy?

I wouldn't have thought it was allowed in England either so I'm wondering if the date I have is wrong or if there maybe some circumstance where it would be allowed. I have attached a marriage doc for Maria and Ugo so if anyone can translate for me that may answer the question.

Thanks so much for any help!

Kate
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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby erudita74 » 21 Mar 2014, 15:36

This is based on some research I have done concerning age at marriage in Italy:

By 1819, there was a code for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, to which Southern Italy and Sicily belonged. According to article number 152 of this code, a male could not contract marriage until he had reached the age of fourteen, and a female could not contract marriage until she had reached the age of twelve. With regard to parental consent, article number 163 of that same code, dictated that a male, who had not yet reached the age of twenty-five, and a female, who had not yet reached the age of twenty-one, could not marry without the consent of both the father and the mother. In cases where the parents were in disagreement, the consent of the father was sufficient for the marriage to take place.

From the year 1865, or the time of the unification of Italy, article number 55 of the civil code of the Kingdom of Italy dictated that a male could not contract marriage until he had reached the age of eighteen and the female until she had reached the age of fifteen. Article 63 of that same code dictated that the male could not contract marriage without the consent of the father and mother until he had reached the age of twenty-five and the female could not contract marriage without the consent of both parents until she had reached the age of twenty-one. There were exceptions to these rules, provided by article number 68, for special cases.


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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby brenta » 21 Mar 2014, 15:47

Thank you Erudita that's really helpful. She must have had her parents consent in that case. I'm not sure I would be too happy letting my daughter marry at 15 but he seems to have been a famous stage artist so maybe they though he was rich :D
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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby erudita74 » 21 Mar 2014, 15:58

brenta wrote:Thank you Erudita that's really helpful. She must have had her parents consent in that case. I'm not sure I would be too happy letting my daughter marry at 15 but he seems to have been a famous stage artist so maybe they though he was rich :D



You're very welcome. I have a great great grandfather whose one sister was born in 1851 and married in 1864 at the age of 13-this was in Sicily. Between Oct 1865 and April of 1894, she then had twelve children, three of whom were born when she was a teenager. The husband was ten years older than her.

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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby elmosgirl » 28 Mar 2014, 02:04

erudita74 wrote:This is based on some research I have done concerning age at marriage in Italy:



From the year 1865, or the time of the unification of Italy, article number 55 of the civil code of the Kingdom of Italy dictated that a male could not contract marriage until he had reached the age of eighteen and the female until she had reached the age of fifteen. Article 63 of that same code dictated that the male could not contract marriage without the consent of the father and mother until he had reached the age of twenty-five and the female could not contract marriage without the consent of both parents until she had reached the age of twenty-one. There were exceptions to these rules, provided by article number 68, for special cases.


Erudita


Please help with some clarification. As I read the above, I believe you are indicating that Article 63 would have cancelled the stipulations of the earlier Article 55? They appear to contradict one another as presented. What was the couple to do between the ages, for the male, for example, of 18 and 25? He could marry at 18 but not until 25 w/o consent? How did that work?

Are the Articles, or Article 63, still in force?

If not, when was the next Article enacted, and what was in force at the turn of the century (1900)?

Thank you,

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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby erudita74 » 29 Mar 2014, 01:12

Noel
Below is a link to the 1865 Italian civil code. It's in Italian though. On page 17 at the top you will see #55 which addresses the minimum age at which a male and female could contract a civil marriage. For the male, the minimum age was 18 and, for the female, it was 15. On the next page, you will see #63 which address the question of parental consent. So a male marrying at the age of 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, or 24 had to have parental consent. Once he turned age 25, he could marry without parental consent. The female, on the other hand, although she could contract marriage from age 15 had to be age 21 before she no longer needed parental consent. So, if she had a civil marriage at age 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20, she had to have parental consent.

I think that what you are viewing as article 63 being a contradiction of article 55 is a contradiction which is inherent in the law itself. In my mind, and probably in yours as well, if the civil law allowed an individual to contract marriage at age 15 or 18, then why should he or she then also have needed parental consent to proceed with the marriage until an older age? The two articles of the civil code appear to have existed simultaneously. Article #63 did not replace article #55, as we would have expected.

The civil code of 1865 was in effect until 1942 when it was replaced by another civil code. I have to see if I can find the 1942 civil code before I can answer the rest of your question.

https://archive.org/stream/codicecivile ... 8/mode/2up

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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby elmosgirl » 30 Mar 2014, 01:47

Thank you for your reply Erudita. Yours was crystal clear and addressed both the suspected conflict in the code as well as its "translation" for me. Maybe I read more than what was there; whatever it was, it confused me, but no longer.

And, it was exactly what I needed to understand relative to the code at the turn of the 19th/20th Century.

Unless your own curiosity is raised, re 1942, it won't be necessary to search for the changes on my account.

Again, my thanks!

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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby erudita74 » 30 Mar 2014, 03:01

Hi Noel
I'm glad I explained things better this time around, and also that the 1865 code covers the period in time you needed. I haven't been able to find anything about the 1942 code and marriage.
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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby marymary52 » 28 Apr 2014, 16:15

This was very Interesting to read. Thank you for the info.
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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby erudita74 » 28 Apr 2014, 18:19

Happy you found the info interesting.

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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby carubia » 12 Jun 2014, 04:06

Here is a marriage act from Sicily from 1869 where the bride was 14. (She is Vincenza Russo, married to Vincenzo Pedalino. I've also seen her birth record and she really was still 14 at the time of the marriage - her 15th birthday was 8 months later.) I'm also pretty sure I've seen 11-year-old brides on some Sicilian marriage acts from the 1820s or '30s, although my can't find an example offhand.
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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby jennabet » 25 Aug 2014, 14:52

The above bride was not 14. In Italy, at that time AND also today, she would have been considered as having 15 years of life, regardless of the fact that she had not yet reached the date of her 15th birthday as this is the way age is always calculated in Italy.
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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby erudita74 » 26 Aug 2014, 00:29

Interesting that you mention this concept as, many years ago, when I first started researching my mother-in-law's parents' ancestry from southern Italy, she made the same point-certainly a foreign and strange idea to us in the U.S. concerning how our ancestors calculated their ages.
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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby jennabet » 26 Aug 2014, 18:49

Hi Erudita, yes it's a cultural thing which can and does cause age discrepancies on documents created in the USA.
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Re: Marriage at 15 years old allowed?

Postby carubia » 28 Aug 2014, 02:09

Except that the record states in it that she is 14. (And if you check the birth cert and compare the date of the marriage she was indeed 14 and not even close to 15.) I found another case just like it recently, too.

I've noticed that they tend to include the number of months when someone was close to 21; for example, 20 years 9 months (and this really means 20 years 9 months from birth in the same way we would count). It's possible that they are interpreting the law differently; that is to say, they think the law means that someone's age must be 15 or 21 after rounding up.
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