Author Topic: Baptism of 2 children 3 months apart, wondering why?  (Read 772 times)

Offline osprey

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Re: Baptism of 2 children 3 months apart, wondering why?
« Reply #18 on: Wednesday 08 September 21 16:14 BST (UK) »
you ask if he may just have run off or if couples would separate without divorce. At that time, divorce was only by act of parliament so only for the (very) wealthy.

https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/private-lives/relationships/overview/divorce/

So, yes, you do find couples separating and remarrying bigamously. But if the person was known locally, someone might object to the banns. On Alice's marriage, which was after banns, there is no mention of her being a spinster or widow. The curate conducting the marriages doesn't seem to note marital status on the marriages and the witnesses look to be regulars as their names are on other marriages.
Cornwall: Allen, Bevan, Bosisto, Carnpezzack, Donithorn, Huddy, James, Retallack, Russell, Vincent, Yeoman
Cards: Thomas (Llanbadarn Fawr)
Glam: Bowler, Cram, Galloway, James, Thomas, Watkins
Lincs: Coupland, Cram
Mon: Cram, Gwyn, John, Philpot, Smart, Watkins
Pembs: Edwards (St. Dogmael's)
Yorks: Airey, Bowler, Elliott, Hare, Hewitt, Kellett, Kemp, Stephenson, Tebb

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Baptism of 2 children 3 months apart, wondering why?
« Reply #19 on: Wednesday 08 September 21 16:39 BST (UK) »

 - however the boy born 1813 couldn't sign his name on his marriage certificate in 1841 so he didn't learn to write.
(But that's nothing new, I've just heard on the radio that about 15% of the UK population in 2021 struggle to complete official forms and find it hard to write.)

There's a concrete reason for the 2 baptisms, a decision; a requirement, a need...


As others have said, just because he didn't sign marriage register doesn't mean he couldn't write.

Penmanship was a particular skill just as typing is. Some pupils at elementary schools in 1820s didn't learn to use pen & ink. They may not have been at school for long enough to progress that far; it may not have been practical to teach it due to lack of resources, money or overcrowded classes; parents may have been unable or unwilling to pay extra fees for cost of ink & paper.

Difficulties with form-filling may be partly due to understanding, which in turn may have a variety of causes. Lack of confidence or of familiarity with officialdom might play a part.
I think there was a pilot census prior to 1841 census to test if enough households would be able to complete census returns unaided. 

Those 2 baptisms may have been receptions into the church community, the 2nd part of a baptism, not sprinkling with water. They may have been conditional baptisms if there was doubt whether children were already baptised.   
Cowban

Offline Dulciebun

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Re: Baptism of 2 children 3 months apart, wondering why?
« Reply #20 on: Thursday 09 September 21 11:05 BST (UK) »

 - however the boy born 1813 couldn't sign his name on his marriage certificate in 1841 so he didn't learn to write.
(But that's nothing new, I've just heard on the radio that about 15% of the UK population in 2021 struggle to complete official forms and find it hard to write.)

There's a concrete reason for the 2 baptisms, a decision; a requirement, a need...


As others have said, just because he didn't sign marriage register doesn't mean he couldn't write.
.....

I think there was a pilot census prior to 1841 census to test if enough households would be able to complete census returns unaided. 


Maiden Stone, thank you for your knowledge & expertise.

I didn't know that about the census. I wonder what they discovered? There must have been a positive enough outcome of the pilot for them to go ahead with the 'real' one, which suggests that the general level of literacy in that period was higher than I am assuming?

By the way: regarding the 'marks' people made on church registers, have you ever noticed how different they are from one another? They're as individual as the people holding the pen: big, small, straight, crooked, thin, fat, diagonal, square-on... I've often thought of collecting them... and they're also interesting historical evidence of the different nibs that were used...

I've solved the baptisms to my satisfaction, great! and I'll put up my conclusions in a separate post.
D

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Offline Dulciebun

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Re: Baptism of 2 children 3 months apart, wondering why?
« Reply #21 on: Thursday 09 September 21 11:30 BST (UK) »
you ask if he may just have run off or if couples would separate without divorce. At that time, divorce was only by act of parliament so only for the (very) wealthy.

https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/private-lives/relationships/overview/divorce/

So, yes, you do find couples separating and remarrying bigamously. But if the person was known locally, someone might object to the banns. On Alice's marriage, which was after banns, there is no mention of her being a spinster or widow. The curate conducting the marriages doesn't seem to note marital status on the marriages and the witnesses look to be regulars as their names are on other marriages.

osprey, many thanks.
This reply is addressed to your kind self and everyone else who's contributed here.

I've used all the suggestions which have been made, and they opened a door for me, and I've discovered what really happened in 1819/20. One more story to add to the pile: another example of human behaviour, and it may help someone else to untangle their own puzzle.

In this particular case:
2 baptisms, 3 months apart, and I asked why?
Moreover I couldn't find a death for the father and I wondered if he had run off, or if the couple had separated and remarried 'bigamously', as you (osprey) say. Well, yes, they had.

The father of the 2 sons (now aged about 30) clearly had a relationship in 1819 with an under-age girl while married to the mother of the 2 sons whose baptisms I was enquiring about.  He remarried in autumn 1819, to a teenager who was 6 months pregnant (it needed her father's permission).
     Meanwhile his first wife was also heavily pregnant, and I'll choose to think that she threw him out! (rather than him dumping her).

But now, without husband, the first wife needed to establish herself strongly within the new land-based community (where she stayed for 40 years).  She gave birth to her son on land, probably very late 1819, and booked a baptism quickly, for early Jan 1820, which was carried out.

She also needed to baptise the older son who was Born At Sea, however in early 1820 he was already nearly 7 and in good health so there was no urgent rush. So she requested a baptism as close to his birthday as possible (the day before, which was a Sunday), to make it a memorable 'event'.

The husband who betrayed her was (forgive me) very "up himself", self-important, arrogant, worked in Customs & Excise. He and his new teenage wife then produced a torrent of children with extravagant names, & he moved them all to London to increase his perceived status further, and had even more kids.

(I like the next bit.)
Then his fortunes changed and he became 'destitute' (see London workhouse registers) and it looks like he lost everything.

Meanwhile the wife he cheated on remarried in 1821, had 4 more children with a stable husband, and one of those children built up a fine business and became the equivalent of a millionaire, and the money passed on down.

Karma, justice, whatever. It pleases me!!

So thank you RootsChat friends for guiding me along. I'm delighted to have unblocked this block, and I'm really grateful.

Dulciebun





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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Baptism of 2 children 3 months apart, wondering why?
« Reply #22 on: Friday 10 September 21 07:32 BST (UK) »
First I take it you mean 1820 not 2020 (I have made similar errors).

You mention the son was born at sea, is it possible she had to wait for the ship to return to port to check if he had been baptised at sea (in most faiths a child may only be baptised once)?
Cheers
Guy

haha
senior moment! xx
1820, yes indeed.

She may have had to wait to return to land to baptise both the children, however I can't fathom the 3-month gap in the church visits, I feel sure it's important to my understanding of this much-travelled family.
 D
No what I was meaning was maybe she had to wait for the ship to return to see if her son had been baptised on board (i.e. to check the log). Baptism is supposed to be a once only occurrence and some vicars would refuse to baptise a child again if it was possible he/she had been baptised previously.
Cheers
Guy
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Offline Dulciebun

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Re: Baptism of 2 children 3 months apart, wondering why?
« Reply #23 on: Friday 10 September 21 11:19 BST (UK) »
First I take it you mean 1820 not 2020 (I have made similar errors).

You mention the son was born at sea, is it possible she had to wait for the ship to return to port to check if he had been baptised at sea (in most faiths a child may only be baptised once)?
Cheers
Guy

haha
senior moment! xx
1820, yes indeed.

She may have had to wait to return to land to baptise both the children, however I can't fathom the 3-month gap in the church visits, I feel sure it's important to my understanding of this much-travelled family.
 D
No what I was meaning was maybe she had to wait for the ship to return to see if her son had been baptised on board (i.e. to check the log). Baptism is supposed to be a once only occurrence and some vicars would refuse to baptise a child again if it was possible he/she had been baptised previously.
Cheers
Guy

Thank you for clarifying and yes, it's a helpful point you make.

Other Rootschatters have suggested that baptisms can consist of 2 parts? (I am no expert, so please instruct me.)

In this particular case I'm now pretty sure that there was no baptism at sea (or wherever they ended up), and the mother, 6 years later (and now alone) was getting things done properly - at last!

D x



Burgi (Zurich, Wintertur)
Pratt (Birmingham 1900s)