According to the Merriam Webster dictionary the phrase ‘blended family’ was first used in 1972 and wasn’t officially recorded in dictionaries till 1985. A blended family according to the dictionary is a family composed of a couple and their children from previous relationships.
Although the term blended family may be relatively new the idea certainly isn’t. While writing a history of my husband’s parents I learned about a blended family that was part of his father’s background.
This is my husband’s great grandmother Katharina Warkentin Driedger. Her first marriage was to Nicolai Driedger shown at the far right. Together they raised four children, Nicolai, Jacob, Maria and my husband’s grandfather Abram the little boy on the far left. This photo was taken in 1898 when Abram was eight years old. In 1906 Katharina’s husband Nicolai Driedger died and she was left with her four children. That’s when she married Johann Cornies a widower with four children of his own. This picture of their blended family was taken in 1912. It includes the eight children they brought to their marriage plus four of those children’s spouses. My husband’s grandfather is the third man from the left in the back row.
Even though the phrase blended family was only coined in the 1970’s blended families were around long before that.