Author Topic: Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of  (Read 639 times)

Offline peakoverload

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Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of
« on: Tuesday 28 January 20 12:15 GMT (UK) »
I've come across something I've not encountered in my tree before. In tracing my maternal line I've got back to the start of the 1700's in Coggeshall, Essex, England and in particular the church St Peter Ad Vincula.

I'm trying to find the baptism of my 6xGG John Foster and I know he got married in 1723 so I would expect a baptism c1700.

Sure enough I find two baptisms in this church for a John Foster:

20/03/1691 Parents John and Susanna
23/06/1700 Parents John and Susanna

I presumed that the first one born in 1691 died and when they had a second son they reused the fathers name so I searched for burials between 1691 and 1700 but couldn't find anything actually mentioning a childs name.

What I did find were several burials listed as "A Child of John Foster" for example:

13/04/1692
23/07/1698
14/05/1700
03/06/1700

In none of these is the childs name given just that of the father John Foster.

Looking through the rest of the Parish Registers for this church it's quite frequent that burials of children are recorded in this way.

Does this mean that these children died before they were baptised and so 'were not known to God' and couldn't therefore be named in the church records or was this a common practice for children below a certain age and if so at what age would their names typically start being recorded?

If it was the former then a lot of children were dying before they were baptised, I'm talking hundreds, which whilst possible seems unlikely when looking at several baptism records that also list the date of birth as it seemed common practice to get your child baptised within 2 weeks of birth and in some cases just a couple of days.
Johnson: London & Maidstone
Foster: Essex
Leach: London
Jennings, Camberwell, London
Gray: South London
Dashwood: London
Mason: Maidstone & London
Neville/Stiff: Hampshire & USA

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 28 January 20 13:35 GMT (UK) »
as it seemed common practice to get your child baptised within 2 weeks of birth and in some cases just a couple of days.

The Book of Common Prayer stated:
The Curates of every Parish shall often admonish the people, that they defer not the Baptism of their Children longer than the first or second Sunday next after their birth, or the other Holy-day falling between, unless upon a great and reasonable cause, to be approved by the Curate.


Stan
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Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 28 January 20 13:44 GMT (UK) »
 It is unlikely they were not baptised.A private baptism was administered if the child was not expected to live. A private baptism may be administered at any time or place. Just to add that it has always been recognised in ecclesiastical law that a person who is not  a clergyman, can baptise in an emergency,

Stan
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Offline ThrelfallYorky

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Re: Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 28 January 20 16:41 GMT (UK) »
It may have been that the unfortunate parents waited to be sure the child would survive before getting their hopes up enough to assign a name to the newborn?
Threlfall (Southport), Isherwood (lancs & Canada), Newbould + Topliss(Derby), Keating & Cummins (Ireland + lancs), Fisher, Strong& Casson (all Cumberland) & Downie & Bowie, Linlithgow area Scotland . Also interested in Leigh& Burrows,(Lancashire) Griffiths (Shropshire & lancs), Leaver (Lancs/Yorks) & Anderson(Cumberland and very elusive)

Offline peakoverload

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Re: Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 28 January 20 21:54 GMT (UK) »
It's just strange because there are literally hundreds of burials attributed to "A child of" and then giving the name of the father.

In tracing one possible ancestor I've noticed that whilst there are a couple of burials attributed to "A child of" there are two that actually specify "A child of Robert Foster still born". Obviously in these tragic circumstances there wouldn't be a baptism but I can't figure out why there are so many "A child of" burials and yet there are also hundreds of 'normal' burials where it's listed as Joe Bloggs son of Henry Bloggs for example.

I completely accept that the mortality rate of young children was high in the late 1600's early 1700's but the numbers listed as "A child of" are way beyond the numbers you could attribute to that.
Johnson: London & Maidstone
Foster: Essex
Leach: London
Jennings, Camberwell, London
Gray: South London
Dashwood: London
Mason: Maidstone & London
Neville/Stiff: Hampshire & USA

Offline peakoverload

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Re: Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 28 January 20 22:10 GMT (UK) »
Just found this on a website about Scottish records so presumably the same applied to English records
Quote
In the case of a stillborn child or one who has not lived long, there is usually no name given at all, for example "a male child", although there may be reference to a parent, for example "a child of David Murray". Occasionally other information is included, for example "a child of John Murray in Hilton, unbaptized"

That is quite staggering as the death rate in just one year, 1700, I count around 100 burials of children listed as "A child of" which considering the population of this town, Coggeshall ,in 2011 was just 4727 would have been considerably smaller in 1700 and this is repeated year on year for several years.
Johnson: London & Maidstone
Foster: Essex
Leach: London
Jennings, Camberwell, London
Gray: South London
Dashwood: London
Mason: Maidstone & London
Neville/Stiff: Hampshire & USA

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 29 January 20 19:23 GMT (UK) »
That is quite staggering as the death rate in just one year, 1700, I count around 100 burials of children listed as "A child of" which considering the population of this town, Coggeshall ,in 2011 was just 4727 would have been considerably smaller in 1700 and this is repeated year on year for several years.

Was there an epidemic in 1700? 2 of the Foster children died within 3 weeks. There was an epidemic one summer & autumn in 1650s in a parish where some of my ancestors lived. It was recorded in the burials register as "plague". Many children were without names in the burial register that year.
I've seen burial register entries like "wife of Abel Cronkshaw" or  "Widow of Nat Cronkshaw" and "Owd (old) Cronkshaw".
Cowban

Offline ThrelfallYorky

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Re: Parish Records - Burials - A Child Of
« Reply #7 on: Friday 31 January 20 15:03 GMT (UK) »
Yes, records such as "wife of John Threlfall... " without even mentioning the location of whichever of the many available possibilities lived,  etc really annoy me too, when I find them.
Threlfall (Southport), Isherwood (lancs & Canada), Newbould + Topliss(Derby), Keating & Cummins (Ireland + lancs), Fisher, Strong& Casson (all Cumberland) & Downie & Bowie, Linlithgow area Scotland . Also interested in Leigh& Burrows,(Lancashire) Griffiths (Shropshire & lancs), Leaver (Lancs/Yorks) & Anderson(Cumberland and very elusive)