Author Topic: Average age at baptism?  (Read 7506 times)

Offline dmo44

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Average age at baptism?
« on: Friday 15 July 05 21:49 BST (UK) »
Does anyone know what the average age of a child was in the early 19th Century (1830s-1840s) at the time of their baptism?

Thanks!

Dawn

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Offline suttontrust

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Re: Average age at baptism?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 15 July 05 22:17 BST (UK) »
It all depends.  Most children seem to have been baptised a few days after birth.  If the baby seemed unlikely to live it would have been baptised immediately.  However, there were instances where the baptisms were "saved up" for sveral months, and this is sometimes because they were Roman Catholics and there wasn't a priest available.  I've also seen cases where an older child was baptised along with a baby in the same family.  On average, it was soon after birth, but you can't bank on it.
Godden in East Sussex, mainly Hastings area.
Richards in Lea, Gloucestershire, then London.
Williamson in Leith, Vickers in Nottingham.
Webb in Bildeston and Colchester.
Wesbroom in Kirby le Soken.
Ellington in Harwich.
Park, Palmer, Segar and Peartree in Kersey.

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Offline dmo44

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Re: Average age at baptism?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 15 July 05 22:23 BST (UK) »
Thank you for the quick response!
Dawn

Offline Biker

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Re: Average age at baptism?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 15 July 05 22:26 BST (UK) »
Hello

In my experience most are baptised within a month or so of the birth.  However, I have several families where a number of children were born in quick succession and then all baptised on the same day after the birth of the latest child - I think this was reasonably common.  I also have two females who were baptised just before their marriage.

But, most common I think was within a month or two of birth.

Hope that helps
Jonathan
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Paul E

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Re: Average age at baptism?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 15 July 05 22:29 BST (UK) »
I've also read (probably on Rootschat! :)) that there was a big rush amongst adults who hadn't already been baptised to be christened before the advent of civil registration in 1837.  

This arose form the mistaken belief that people who had not been baptised would have to be civilly registered, and that this would cost them, I think.

This would have to be factored into any calculation of averages.

cheers

Paul

Offline RuthieB

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Re: Average age at baptism?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 16 July 05 12:05 BST (UK) »
If you check the IGI index for an Adeliza Mantle, you'll find that she is listed as a triplet. She wasn't, she was simply baptised on the same day as her sisters who were something like 12 yrs, 9 and 3. The family later became Particular Baptists, so I'm wondering if this had anything to do with the delay in baptism. It wasn't as if they lived very far from the church. Just hedging their bets perhaps...
RuthieB
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indiapaleale

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Re: Average age at baptism?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 16 July 05 18:49 BST (UK) »
I read an article a while back...will have to dig it up.....that said that familes often saved up the children for a mass christening in order to save money. Evidently, the fee was the same to christen 3-4 children as for one.
I, too, got hung up on the triplet thing when I found three children christened on the same day but further research indicates that they were 7, 5, and one year old at the time of the christening.
I also have a brach of ancestors who are members of a non- conformist chapel in Wiltshire. They are all baptised as adults.
But, on average, I would say that most children were christened before their first birthday.

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Average age at baptism?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 16 July 05 19:00 BST (UK) »
Do you mean the average age or the most usual age of a child at their baptism?

The most usual age is within the first month, the average age is quite a bit higher even as high as 5 or 6 years old as late baptisms and "adult" baptisms of teenages skew the figures.
The average also depends on the criteria for choosing the sample.
Cheers
Guy
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