The OKCupid of 100+ Years Ago: Matrimonial Ads from Old Newspapers – MyHeritage February 14, 2021

I saw this on MyHeritage recently – The OKCupid of 100+ Years Ago: Matrimonial Ads from Old Newspapers: Longer article, but I shared the opening paragraphs. Included the topic headings below.

By Esther February 14, 2021  Historical Records

Long before the days of Tinder or, people used local media to look for love.

The earliest known matrimonial ads published in newspapers are from the 17th century. These ads, which were placed by men seeking a bride, offered men who were new in the area or who had very specific requirements a great way to expand their search beyond their social connections.

Matrimonial ads gained popularity toward the mid-19th century. The ads vary in nature — some were more straightforward, some more poetic; some were short and sweet, others long and detailed; but their purpose was one: to seek a life partner.

At the turn of the 20th century, women began publishing their own personal ads in search of a partner with whom to build or rebuild their lives. The ads were posted by just about anyone: young men and women, widows and widowers, parents or those without children, poor or wealthy. In the United States, new immigrants searched for their fellow countrymen by placing an ad in the paper. The ads were generally anonymous and did not include names. Those interested were expected to contact the newspaper for further information.

Poignant stories in shorthand


A suitable partner in the 1920s


The “advertising sylph” from Germany in the 1880’s


Matrimonial ad scandals!



About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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