Author Topic: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.  (Read 8681 times)

Offline bucksboy

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Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« on: Wednesday 01 December 10 21:02 GMT (UK) »
Whilst hunting down relatives using various tried methods.   I have usually taken the year of baptism as an approximate years of birth.

However.  I have since found that quite a big lump of one family were baptised in one 'job lot'.   The oldest sibling being 12 years older than the youngest sibling.
These occured in 1870.  Obviously I had the census to help me out with ages, so on the strength of those I ordered certs.
If we get back to baptisms in earlier years, say 1750's.  Any given child could have been born 10 years earlier, considering what I have since found out in 1870
So when looking for marriages, an assumption can be made that the particular person could only be 10-12 years old at marriage given the baptism year, and discard the marriage.

So how do you sort it out, if the marriage found is the only feasible one, if the baptism is right as well. :D

Steve. :)
Ives, Stevens, Allen, Smith, King, Wooster, Elwood from Monks and Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Wendover, Great Missenden, Bledlow, Horsenden, Saunderton, West Wycombe, High Wycombe, Lacey Green, Longwick, Illmer,  Hughenden, Prestwood, The Kimbles, Haslemere, Bradenham, Aston Clinton and more......!!  Plus a whole host of Oxfordshire areas.
Graham, Pimlott, Burgess from Cheshire and Lancashire area.
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Offline gordon5

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Re: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 01 December 10 21:08 GMT (UK) »
I've been doing transcriptions of registers from the mid 17th century through to the early 19th and what you've described isn't rare although it also isn't common. I've also found examples where an earlier register seems to have been copied and several people from the same family recorded together.

That being so, I'd say that, if the marriage is feasible then accept it but check the baptismal record as well - and check whether a "job lot" have been recorded.

At times I'm sure our ancestors conspired against us knowing somehow that we'd be looking back and having only paper records to go on!!
Steadwood worldwide, Horsburgh, McBean (and variants), Pride, Ross, mostly in the Lothian and Borders area, Ingles and variants from Buckie, Wilson, Stoddart.

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Offline teaurn

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Re: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 01 December 10 21:30 GMT (UK) »
To look at the other end of the scale the parish registers for death mostly give an age. So it would be possible to work back from there. :)

Not sure what we do with the Clarks, Jones and Smiths mind you ::) ::) ;D
Middlesex   Burnett  Clark   Potter    Cleary    Avery    Moore Howard Jode Keating
Norfolk    Rudd    Twite    Hudson    Chapman Moore Spink Adams
Suffolk    Horne    Cadge    Sutton    King    Adams
Essex    Cable    Wright                         Cumberland  Forbes
Somerset Clarke (pre 1800)                  Cambridgeshire Muncey Parcell
Devon  Flashman                                   Limerick    Hannigan
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline gordon5

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Re: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 01 December 10 21:41 GMT (UK) »
Yes, thank heavens for the non-mobility of our distant ancestors - where people 2 miles away were strange and probably demons 8) Born, living and dying in the same parish...
Steadwood worldwide, Horsburgh, McBean (and variants), Pride, Ross, mostly in the Lothian and Borders area, Ingles and variants from Buckie, Wilson, Stoddart.

Offline nigelp

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Re: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 01 December 10 21:42 GMT (UK) »
I find the period from 1783 to about 1800 very bad. Several of my family lines stop around this period as a result of not being able to find baptisms. First, there was the increasing rise of non-conformity and there being few records for Methodists for this period (many Methodist registers don't start until about 1818). Secondly, from 1783 to 1794 Stamp Duty at 3d per baptism was levied. Many of the poor (except paupers for whom the fee was waived) could not afford or were not prepared to pay the duty so that many children were not baptised during this period. There were some 'job lots' of baptisms after 1794. However, many children born in this period were not baptised and some families were not aware of the repeal of the legislation after 1794.

It was, of course, because of the defects in the system of parochial registration that national civil registration of births, marriages and deaths commenced in 1837 for England and Wales.

Nigel
Essex - Burrell, Thorogood
Norfolk - Alcock, Bowen, Bowers, Breeze, Burton, Creamer, Hammond, Sparkes, Wakefield, Wiggett
North Devon - Burgess, Chalacombe, Collacott, Goss
Northamptonshire - George, Letts, Muscutt, Richardson
Somerset - Barber
Wiltshire - Brine, Burges, Carey, Gray, Lywood, Musselwhite, Perris, Read, Turner, Wilkins

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline nigelp

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Re: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 01 December 10 22:00 GMT (UK) »
Yes, thank heavens for the non-mobility of our distant ancestors - where people 2 miles away were strange and probably demons 8) Born, living and dying in the same parish...

I wish more of mine were non-mobile. They seemed quite happy to walk, get on a horse or travel on a ship (or just (dis)appear) .......  ::)

Nigel
Essex - Burrell, Thorogood
Norfolk - Alcock, Bowen, Bowers, Breeze, Burton, Creamer, Hammond, Sparkes, Wakefield, Wiggett
North Devon - Burgess, Chalacombe, Collacott, Goss
Northamptonshire - George, Letts, Muscutt, Richardson
Somerset - Barber
Wiltshire - Brine, Burges, Carey, Gray, Lywood, Musselwhite, Perris, Read, Turner, Wilkins

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 01 December 10 22:57 GMT (UK) »
. Secondly, from 1783 to 1794 Stamp Duty at 3d per baptism was levied.
Nigel

Just to point out it was not a duty on Baptism, if the baptism was not registered then no duty was paid  :)
Under the Stamp Act of 1783 (23 Geo. III, c.67) a tax of three pence was levied on each Church Register entry of birth, baptism or marriage, except for paupers. The parson or other receiving the tax was allowed two shillings in the pound for the trouble involved. There was such a popular outcry against this tax that it was speedily repealed in 1794 (34 Geo, c.11), however it is interesting to note the sudden increase in the numbers of those declared to be paupers over this short period. As has been pointed out  this act was a direct inducement to defective registration.

Stan

Mapstone, Mapston.
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Offline nigelp

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Re: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 01 December 10 23:09 GMT (UK) »

Just to point out it was not a duty on Baptism, if the baptism was not registered then no duty was paid  :)
..................

Stan


If that was the case could a child be baptised without registration of that baptism? I am aware in some cases that false entries of parents being 'paupers' were recorded when there was refusal to pay.

Nigel
Essex - Burrell, Thorogood
Norfolk - Alcock, Bowen, Bowers, Breeze, Burton, Creamer, Hammond, Sparkes, Wakefield, Wiggett
North Devon - Burgess, Chalacombe, Collacott, Goss
Northamptonshire - George, Letts, Muscutt, Richardson
Somerset - Barber
Wiltshire - Brine, Burges, Carey, Gray, Lywood, Musselwhite, Perris, Read, Turner, Wilkins

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Are Baptisms reliable. Discuss.
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 01 December 10 23:29 GMT (UK) »
There is nothing in the Book of Common Prayer on the Ministration of Baptism that says a baptism has to be registered. The registration of Baptisms, Weddings and Burials, was only required under Thomas Cromwell's order of 5th Sept 1538.
Just to add that it has always been recognised in ecclesiastical law that a person who is not  a clergyman, can baptize in an emergency, indeed in the Middle Ages midwives were licensed by bishops with that eventuality in mind. They were advised that they should under no circumstances neglect baptism in the presence of witnesses, if there was any likelihood of a child dying before the arrival of  a priest.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk