The Families of the Residents of the village of Kharkivtsi in the second half of the XVIII century (according to the confessional register)
The paper is devoted to the problems of demographic development of the rural population of the Left-Bank Ukraine in early modern times. The main attention is paid to the characterization of the family and the network of family ties of the inhabitants of the village of Kharkivtsi of Pyryatyn company of Lubny regiment (from 1781 – Pyriatyn county of Kyiv vicegerency) in the second half of the XVIII century, which was one of the typical Ukrainian villages of that time. On the basis of the records of confessional registers, the rates of general and average population of households have been analyzed; the number of families and members of the families has been determined; the generational composition and the structure of family formations of different groups of rural society: clergy, Cossacks, peasants, and servants have been considered.
The research is based on the most common in modern historical demography classification of family households of the British historian Peter Laslett. Typological analysis of the structure of families has shown that in Kharkivtsi during the second half of the XVIII century there were much more complex forms of family organization than simple nuclear families. While most of the Kharkivtsi families belonged to the multifocal type, single persons and unstructured families were not detected at all.
The results of the research confirm the opinion of the majority of contemporary social historians that for the Ukrainian society in the preindustrial period a large patriarchal family, united several marital couples, was typical. Such form of family organization implied the joint residence of a large number of other close or distant relatives (parents, married children, grandchildren, cousins, nephews, sons and daughters) or even not relatives, such as servants or other families along with a nuclear family (husband, wife, children) in one household. In traditional society, the determining factor was not the degree of consanguinity between the inhabitants of the household, but the possibility of joint housekeeping activity. Therefore, not only the internal structure of the family but also the concept of it in that time agrarian society, differed greatly from the modern one.