Author Topic: No first name in the parish register?  (Read 772 times)

Offline Ghostwheel

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No first name in the parish register?
« on: Sunday 29 January 17 03:19 GMT (UK) »
I noted a NR Breen baptism record in an index for Glenbeigh RC Parish.  Curious, I tried to look at an image of the register.  As expected, the entry seemed partly damaged.  But I saw something which seemed surprising.

Firstly, there was a  separate box to the right with the name of the baby baptized.  Only there was no first name, even though that part of the page was intact.  Looking at the the rest of the entry, it seemed spaced in such a way, that though damaged, left no room for the name.

The entry at the bottom of the same page also had the same pattern, even more clearly.  The entry starts "Idem de" (if "de" is the 2nd word)  then there is a big space and "fil" followed by the names of the parents, plus sponsors.  The original entry I referred to though was clearly missing the "fil."

If anyone is curious.  They are the 2nd entry in April 1827 and the 1st in May 1827.

There is perhaps enough space to write a name, but I was wondering what others thought.  Could they have simply not picked names, as in seen sometimes in civil records?  (but why was it not later filled in?) Or could it be a stillborn birth? (but why would there be sponsors?)

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Offline conahy calling

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Re: No first name in the parish register?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 29 January 17 09:45 GMT (UK) »

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Offline aghadowey

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Re: No first name in the parish register?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 29 January 17 17:26 GMT (UK) »
A stillborn child cannot be baptised - perhaps the child was born alive and lived long enough to be baptised but not long enough for parents to chose a name.
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Offline BumbleB

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Re: No first name in the parish register?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 29 January 17 17:29 GMT (UK) »
It is also noticeable that a "status" for the child is not shown - neither "son" nor "daughter".

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Offline Ghostwheel

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Re: No first name in the parish register?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 29 January 17 21:38 GMT (UK) »
That is an interesting theory about the children dying before a name could be decided on.  It is too bad there isn't a civil record to check it against.  I've never come across something like this, even on the civil side.  I'd be curious if anyone ever saw both, if they were close in date.

I was rather struck by the missing "fil" on the first entry.  This is partly what made me think of the possibility of a stillborn child, delivered in early term.  I didn't think stillborns were officially baptized, but I wonder whether everything was always strictly orthodox in a country church.  I can almost picture a really distraught family moving a priest to perform the ceremony.

I have noticed another odd irregularity pertaining to Glenbeigh, albeit many years later, in about 1867, but one harder to judge since it is an index entry and not an image.  One of GG grandfather's brothers almost seems to have been married twice, to the same women, in two parishes, Glenbeigh and Dromod.  Unfortunately the Glenbeigh date seems to be unreliable ( it doesn't match).

The groom and bride have the same names, Bridget Sullivan and Patrick Connor.  One of the witnesses has the same name too, Denis Shea, but the other is different.  Of course, they are common names, but I think they are the same people.  It was a consanguineous marriage too.  I  thought perhaps it may have been the banns, mistaken for a marriage (this part of the register, one could guess is severely damaged) but the sponsors names being there is a bit odd.

Offline Munro84

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Re: No first name in the parish register?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 25 February 17 17:31 GMT (UK) »
I have come across a couple of examples in Scottish parish registers where there is no first name for the child. I often thought that it was because they had not decided yet what the name of the child should be.

Offline hallmark

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Re: No first name in the parish register?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 25 February 17 17:46 GMT (UK) »
Link to Glenbeigh RC Parish register.

http://registers.nli.ie/registers/vtls000634306#page/4/mode/1up

Thanks, saves everyone else having to look for it!

You might need to ask someone at NLI what is under the folded flap...
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Offline Ghostwheel

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Re: No first name in the parish register?
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 08 March 17 20:47 GMT (UK) »
Good to know that it's found in other parishes.  I think that is probably the answer after all: not being able to decide on a name.  Funny considering, how few names there were back then and, if I am not mistaken, you are supposed to have a middle name when you are baptized nowadays.  But I suppose names were just as important to them, back then, and the debates as fierce!

It is my thought that the folded flap was read, since there is an index which says "Bridget."  Though, I'm not sure if that is perfectly logical, as "da" seems to be visible and "Brigida" is probably the only common female name which takes that form.  I feel pretty comfortable that there is no first name there for the child though.

I didn't realize the NLI still had the registers, though I suppose they must.   If I had to call in one favor, and it would be a big one, I would ask that they re-shoot the RC baptism records for St. Michael's Parish,  Athy in Co. Kildare.  Most of them are unreadable, probably because they are out of focus.  It is a great pity too because the best research is done slowly and carefully by oneself (the most interested party) and it involves looking at the sponsors names, which are not to be found in an index, as far as I know.

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: No first name in the parish register?
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 08 March 17 21:13 GMT (UK) »
A stillborn child cannot be baptised - perhaps the child was born alive and lived long enough to be baptised but not long enough for parents to chose a name.

Whilst what you say is true there are examples of stillborns being baptised in the womb.
It's like most things there are always exceptions to the rule. ;)

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