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England (Counties as in 1851-1901) => England => London and Middlesex => Topic started by: Jill Eaton on Saturday 17 July 21 13:24 BST (UK)

Title: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Saturday 17 July 21 13:24 BST (UK)
John Sutcliffe married Mary Ann Lane in 1890. St Saviour Southwark. According to FreeBMD no other John Sutcliffe married a Mary Ann Lane between 1837 and 1890.
It was a C of E service at St Mary Magdalene, Southwark.

As far as I know John was C of E and I can't find any records other than a birth certificate for Mary Ann Lane between 1871 and her marriage in 1890

They had a number of children. These are the ones that are causing me a headache:

Florence
Henry
William
Arthur
Edward.

All these children had C of E baptisms

Then today I find that some additional Southwark baptisms were added to FindmyPast catholic records and these children appear to be baptised again in a Catholic ceremony.

On both sets of records the parents are John Sutcliffe and Mary Ann. On the C of E records it simply says Mary Ann Sutcliffe. On the catholic records it states John Sutcliffe and Mary Ann Lane. On a couple of the Catholic records it also says "Sub conditione et (sin? caeremoniuus?" It's very difficult to read) which I'm lead to believe means there may have been a previous baptism?

All baptisms, both C of E and catholic, are in the Walworth/Bermondsey/Southwark area

It's the DOB's that are the sticking point

Florence has the DOB of 21st June 1895 but the 22nd on the catholic. Close enough not to really be a worry.

Henry's is a big discrepancy - May 7th 1899 on C of E but 21st April 1900 on the catholic

William DOB 21st May 1901 on C of E but 21st May 1902 on the catholic

Arthur DOB 21st Nov 1903 on C of E and the same on catholic

Edward DOB July 1906 on C of E and no DOB on the Catholic just a date of baptism Oct 7 1907. Edward death registration was Dec 1907.

The C of E burials were all close of their dates of births but the Catholics re-baptisms were between 1907 and 1910.

Some of the children then appear to have undergone Confirmations:
Florence in May 1907
Henry in June 1909
William in June 1911

Does anyone know why they would have had both a C of E and then a Catholic baptism? In several cases, several years later? And why would some of the birthdates have been altered? It is something to do with the required age for Confirmation?

I'm concerned that these aren't even the same people but the shared names and location make it seem unlikely this is a coincidence.

Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: BumbleB on Saturday 17 July 21 14:23 BST (UK)
Have you checked the GRO website for mother's maiden name of Lane to ascertain which date of birth might be correct?

Henry - June quarter 1899 - St Saviour RD - mmn = Lane.  There is no 1900 registration at all for Henry Sutcliffe.

Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: KGarrad on Saturday 17 July 21 14:55 BST (UK)
Are these records showing baptism dates, rather than dates of birth?
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Saturday 17 July 21 15:06 BST (UK)
Have you checked the GRO website for mother's maiden name of Lane to ascertain which date of birth might be correct?

Henry - June quarter 1899 - St Saviour RD - mmn = Lane.  There is no 1900 registration at all for Henry Sutcliffe.

BumbleB  :)
Yes. I've searched the GRO with the MMN of Lane
Henry was my grandfather and his birth certificate states 7th May 1899

The others are:
Florence 1895 SEP QUARTER St Saviour
William 1901 SEP QUARTER St Saviour - would expect this to be JUNE QUARTER if he had been born in May
Arthur DEC QUARTER 1903 Camberwell
Edward  SEP QUARTER 1906 Bermondsey - his MMN is transcribed as JANE rather than LANE but I can't find a marriage for a John Sutcliffe and a woman with the surname JANE so think it's probably been mistranscribed.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: BumbleB on Saturday 17 July 21 15:09 BST (UK)
William Frank/Francis - birth registered September quarter 1901 - Southwark.  Date of birth in parish register shown as 21 May 1901.

Perhaps time was "not of the essence" to the parents  :-\

Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Saturday 17 July 21 15:10 BST (UK)
Are these records showing baptism dates, rather than dates of birth?

Both sets, apart from Edwards which doesn't have DOB on the Catholic record, show both DOB and baptism dates. For example, Florence's DOB is recorded as either 21st or 22 June 1895. Her C of E baptism was in July 1895. Her later Catholic baptism was 20th April 1907, assuming they are the same person.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Saturday 17 July 21 15:14 BST (UK)
William Frank/Francis - birth registered September quarter 1901 - Southwark.  Date of birth in parish register shown as 21 May 1901.

Perhaps time was "not of the essence" to the parents  :-\

I suspect it had more to do with when money was spare. John was in and out of the work house infirmary between 1911 and when he died in 1913. I don't know how long he had been ill before that. Mary Ann had to go into the workhouse after his death and some of the boys were sent to boy's homes.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: heywood on Saturday 17 July 21 15:30 BST (UK)
Is there a religion shown on workhouse records or were the boys sent to a Catholic home?
It may be that the marriage was a mixed religion marriage and they wanted the children to be baptised in both traditions.

Baptism can only be received once. If a child (or adult generally) is received into the Catholic Church and there is doubt about a previous ceremony, then a conditional baptism occurs. It is not the same form.
I wonder if the Latin word is ‘sine’ - ‘without’ which might indicate without ceremony. :-\

If the children were presented as ‘new baptisms’ , it might have been easier to fib about the birth date as early baptism was the norm/recommended.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Maiden Stone on Saturday 17 July 21 15:48 BST (UK)

 On a couple of the Catholic records it also says "Sub conditione et (sin? caeremoniuus?" It's very difficult to read) which I'm lead to believe means there may have been a previous baptism?

Yes.
One of my English families had their eldest 3 children baptised C of E. when babies and a triple R.C. baptism when they were ages 1, 3 & 5.
Another had a second R.C. baptism when she was an adult. Her DOB in baptism register is wrong by a year.
I see heywood has posted what I was going to say.
Perhaps parent(s) or whoever took children for baptism at the Catholic church mis-remembered their dates of birth.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Saturday 17 July 21 16:04 BST (UK)
I can only find one record for Mary Ann Sutcliffe in the workhouse at the moment though I know there are others.

The one I've found in Feb 1908 where she is recorded as "Destitute" at  St Olave's workhouse and some of her children are on there too. Florence's DOB is different again! 27th June 94.

Interestingly though, her usual place of residence is 13 Parkin's (or Perkin's?) Buildings. two of the addresses on the Catholic records look like "Parkers Buildings"
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: PaulineJ on Saturday 17 July 21 18:33 BST (UK)
That says Parkers Buildings, compare the first "r" to the second "r" it's formed in the same way
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: heywood on Saturday 17 July 21 19:12 BST (UK)
Also I think it would be ‘without ceremony/ies) ‘
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: BumbleB on Saturday 17 July 21 20:56 BST (UK)
"sub conditione" - under the condition  :-\
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: arthurk on Sunday 18 July 21 11:16 BST (UK)
"sub conditione" - under the condition  :-\

Literally, yes. But it's the standard term where an RC baptism is conditional - that is, there's doubt as to whether a previous baptism was performed correctly, or even at all, so the words used include something to the effect of "If you haven't already been baptised, I baptise you..."

It's probably most often seen where someone converts to the RC church in later life.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: PrawnCocktail on Sunday 18 July 21 11:25 BST (UK)
When Boris got married in a Catholic church earlier this year (despite having been divorced twice), we were told that his first two marriages weren't recognised by the Catholic Church because neither had taken place in a Catholic church, so to them he had never been married before.

Does this also apply to baptism?
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: BumbleB on Sunday 18 July 21 11:28 BST (UK)
Just a thought - have you actually purchased any of the birth certificates to see what date appears there, in order to verify or refute the baptism entries?
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: heywood on Sunday 18 July 21 13:36 BST (UK)
When Boris got married in a Catholic church earlier this year (despite having been divorced twice), we were told that his first two marriages weren't recognised by the Catholic Church because neither had taken place in a Catholic church, so to them he had never been married before.

Does this also apply to baptism?

No it doesn’t apply. The Catholic Church recognises baptisms in other denominations and, I think, if baptism was by a person in an emergency.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: arthurk on Sunday 18 July 21 13:54 BST (UK)
From what I've just found, an emergency baptism can be performed by anyone at all. There's a guide to Catholic teaching on baptism at the following link - I don't know who wrote it or how authoritative it is, but it's more or less what I would have said:

http://www.aboutcatholics.com/beliefs/a-guide-to-catholic-baptism/

An Encyclopedia Britannica article also includes this: "The Roman Catholic Church baptizes conditionally in cases of serious doubt of the fact of baptism or the use of the proper rite."
(https://www.britannica.com/topic/Roman-Catholicism/Baptism)

The Britannica article refers to the acceptance of baptism by other denominations as something that may reflect changes of attitude in or since the 1960s. The same might not necessarily have applied in the early 20th century; it could be that even if someone turned up with absolute proof of a baptism which would now be acceptable, at that time the standard practice would have been to treat it as potentially invalid and do a conditional baptism.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: heywood on Sunday 18 July 21 14:00 BST (UK)
I was answering re modern times as the question was in the context of the
 P M ’s marriage.
From very recent experience, I have had it confirmed from a diocesan representative that a C o E baptism was acceptable. However, a conditional baptism was administered (this was for a child) so that the (local)  church records would be noted for future reference e.g. if the person wanted to marry in a Catholic Church in the future.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: arthurk on Sunday 18 July 21 14:24 BST (UK)
I was answering re modern times as the question was in the context of the P M ’s marriage.

I wasn't meaning to be critical, as I was mostly writing about the present too. Then I realised the original question had been about things over 100 years ago, so I thought I'd better add a caveat that things might have been different then.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: heywood on Sunday 18 July 21 14:41 BST (UK)
Oh no - I realised that. I just meant to clarify the modern day context too.  :)
(With an example).
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Sunday 18 July 21 14:52 BST (UK)
Just a thought - have you actually purchased any of the birth certificates to see what date appears there, in order to verify or refute the baptism entries?

I only have the certificate for Henry's birth.

William's DOB - you've given me the date from the parish register. Thankyou  :)

Florence's DOB is still in doubt as her death certificate GRO entry gives her DOB as 26 June 1895 but the 1939 register gives it as 22 June 1895.

Arthur's GRO death entry gives his DOB as 21 Nov 1903 but the 1939 register gives it as 21 Nov 1902. The GRO register for his birth is DEC 1903.

Edward died young and I only discovered he existed yesterday, along with a brother and a sister who also died very young.

What I find really interesting is that my grandfather Henry (who died before I was born) was very anti-Catholicism, apparently describing it as "cruel". It surprised me that he would marry a catholic,
my grandmother Mary Harrington, in a catholic ceremony. Now I know he was actually a catholic himself the marriage makes more sense.

I can't find a baptismal record for John Sutcliffe so don't know if was C of E. I haven't been able to find a catholic baptism for him on Findmypast but his Sutcliffe ancestors were C of E.

I'm now beginning to wonder if Mary Ann Lane was the catholic. She was born in the workhouse in 1871 but there are no existing records at the LMA for the Union Workhouse, St John Horsleydown for the year she was born. She was illegitimate. I've found no sign of her on the 1881 census,

I wonder if my grandfather's opinion is about something that happened to his mother.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Sunday 18 July 21 15:04 BST (UK)
I've checked the 1908 workhouse entry again and it says her last place of residence is
13 Parkers Buildings

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/60391/images/31537_214471-00085?pId=8040369

So at least the addresses on the workhouse record and one of the catholic baptism records tie up.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Sunday 18 July 21 15:07 BST (UK)
Is there a religion shown on workhouse records or were the boys sent to a Catholic home?


The last workhouse record I can find is in Dec 1914. No religion listed but the
William, Arthur and George Sutcliffe are all from either "Shirley Schools" or "Peckham Homes"

http://www.workhouses.org.uk/StOlave/#Peckham
At the bottom of the page are the Peckham Homes and Shirley school for St Olave
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Maiden Stone on Sunday 18 July 21 15:47 BST (UK)

One of my English families had their eldest 3 children baptised C of E. when babies and a triple R.C. baptism when they were ages 1, 3 & 5.
Another had a second R.C. baptism when she was an adult. Her DOB in baptism register is wrong by a year.

The woman (Charlotte) who had 2 Catholic baptisms wasn't from the same family as the one who had the triple baptisms. She was baptised in a Catholic church when she was 2 days old. When she was 33 she was baptised "Sub conditione" in another Catholic church in the same town. Her son, aged 8 was baptised on the same day. Her daughter, aged around 3 or 4, was baptised 6 months later. Both children were illegitimate. Their full names at their birth registrations include a surname as a middle name which I presume was their father's surname. Going only by transcriptions on LAN-OPC, birth date info of Charlotte and daughter are different in baptism register from their birth registrations.
I'm puzzled as to why Charlotte had a second baptism. She and her siblings were baptised in Catholic churches in Blackburn and 2 of their weddings were at the church where she had her 2nd baptism.  Their mother belonged to a family which had been Catholic since the Reformation. A cousin of Charlotte was a well-known priest.
Charlotte wasn't a direct ancestor. Prompted by this topic I'm looking again at her life.
Charlotte's son was born in Blackpool. He was baptised at a C. of E. church there. Father's name crossed out. The daughter's birth was registered in Blackburn, Charlotte's birthplace. Charlotte & children remained in Blackburn and her mother was living with them on the next census. From that I surmise that Charlotte left Blackburn for Blackpool when she was a young woman, had 2 children by the same man, the relationship ended, she returned to her parents in Blackburn when she was expecting her 2nd child and also returned to the Catholic church.
Charlotte seems to have subtracted a year from her age. A request to the priest at the Blackburn church where she was baptised as a baby to check the baptism register for the correct year should have found her baptism. Why was it assumed that Charlotte wasn't already baptised? Did she not ask her mother? Was it the priest's suggestion she be baptised along with her son? Reasons for the son's baptism may have been so that he could attend a Catholic school or receive other sacraments, or family influence.
Following Charlotte's daughter through her childhood and young adult life. She's on a Confirmation Register of a  Catholic church around age 13. She was a 15 year-old  pupil at the local Notre Dame Convent on a census. She was an elementary school teacher on next census. Married a man with  very Catholic Irish names a few years later.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: BumbleB on Sunday 18 July 21 15:52 BST (UK)
I wouldn't be surprised over the 1939 entry - from other threads there were a lot of "year discrepancies".

The same applies to Florence, plus someone else gave her date of birth on the death registration, and the Workhouse admission shows 27 June 1894, so a mistake was made there as well (Birth registration is 1895).

Personally, I wouldn't be too upset about the differences.  People weren't so pedantic in those days, plus if you were unable to read/write then you wouldn't know that a mistake had been made.



Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Maiden Stone on Sunday 18 July 21 17:31 BST (UK)
When Boris got married in a Catholic church earlier this year (despite having been divorced twice), we were told that his first two marriages weren't recognised by the Catholic Church because neither had taken place in a Catholic church, so to them he had never been married before.


The bridegroom was baptised Catholic, his mother's religion. The papal decree on marriage "Ne temere" published 1908 required a Catholic to marry in the presence of a Catholic priest. Therefore neither of the 2 previous marriages were recognised by the Catholic church. (He was confirmed at Eton in an Anglican ceremony.)
The bride is Catholic. Her son was baptised at the Catholic cathedral last year. This is her first marriage.
Btw this is the first baptised Catholic to be PM of the UK. Not a lot of people knew that until his wedding. Only took 190 years from Catholics being allowed to be M.P.s for one to rise to the highest office! Constitutionally difficult until reforms by Gordon Brown. Blair didn't join the Catholic Church until he ceased to be P.M.
Another btw. Mr J. became the incumbent of 10 Downing Street on 24th of July, feast day of St. Boris of Russia. I kid you not.  ;D  Votes in his first mayoral election were being counted on 2nd May 2008, feast day of St. Boris of Bulgaria. This puts a new slant on the expression "friends in high places".  ;D 

Added.
https://religionmediacentre.org.uk/news/boris-johnson-and-the-roman-catholic-church-resume/ 
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Sunday 18 July 21 19:11 BST (UK)
When Boris got married in a Catholic church earlier this year (despite having been divorced twice), we were told that his first two marriages weren't recognised by the Catholic Church because neither had taken place in a Catholic church, so to them he had never been married before.


Another btw. Mr J. became the incumbent of 10 Downing Street on 24th of July, feast day of St. Boris of Russia. I kid you not.  ;D  Votes in his first mayoral election were being counted on 2nd May 2008, feast day of St. Boris of Bulgaria. This puts a new slant on the expression "friends in high places".  ;D 

Added.
https://religionmediacentre.org.uk/news/boris-johnson-and-the-roman-catholic-church-resume/

 :) :) :)
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Sunday 18 July 21 19:20 BST (UK)
My next challenge now, due to this new information, is to discover what denomination my mother and her siblings were baptised in.

She has been dead a while now so I can't ask her and I'm certain she didn't know her father was a catholic. I always assumed that my maternal grandparents had a "mixed-marriage" Him C of E, her catholic. Since my siblings and I were baptised C of E I thought it was because my grandfather had made the decision that my mum would be too.

Now, knowing that both were catholic, it seems more likely that my mum and my aunts and uncles would be baptised catholic as well.

My grandparents were married at Our Lady of La Salette and Saint Joseph Church, Bermondsey. The records for the years of my mum's birth are not on line yet so I think I'll have to contact the priest and see if he has a baptismal record for her.
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: Jill Eaton on Wednesday 21 July 21 18:57 BST (UK)
I emailed the Catholic church of La Salette to ask if my mother had been baptised there.

A very helpful priest replied that he couldn't find my mum's baptism but could find one of her younger brothers. He is now looking for the baptism records of her other siblings. He is certain if my grandparents were both Catholics when they married, there children would be too.

I never knew my mum and her siblings were Catholics - they certainly weren't practicing ones, I just wonder if my mum knew!
Title: Re: The Sutcliffes - multiple baptisms and wrong DOB's. What's going on?
Post by: heywood on Wednesday 21 July 21 19:04 BST (UK)
That’s good to hear that the priest was helpful.  ;)
I hope he can find your mum’s baptism too. It might depend on where they were living if there are a  couple of churches in the neighbourhood.