Author Topic: Word in a 1640 baptism entry  (Read 252 times)

Offline Richard A Smith

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Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« on: Sunday 10 October 21 23:37 BST (UK) »
The attached entry from a baptism register in Herefordshire, from 1640, reads:

Fabian the sone of Francis stedman []
& ursula his wife was bapt 7o die dicembris

My question is what the last word is on the first line.  Their surname is definitely Stedman or Steadman so it's not part of that.  Can anyone help?  I have an idea but I worry I'm reading what I want to see, so I won't say until others have had a look.

Offline horselydown86

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Re: Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« Reply #1 on: Monday 11 October 21 05:27 BST (UK) »
It's either three or four letters.

The first is long-s.  The last is e.

It could be she.  I think this is most likely.

It could possibly be slie or slue. I think these are less likely.

If that last group of letters weren't there I would say the surname is:  Stadma(n)

With it there, the whole becomes harder to interpret.  I wouldn't normally expect that raised ending of the surname's second a to appear mid-word.

I have an idea but I worry I'm reading what I want to see, so I won't say until others have had a look.

What do you think it is, please?

Offline GR2

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Re: Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« Reply #2 on: Monday 11 October 21 08:22 BST (UK) »
What is found after the father's surname on the other entries on the page?


Offline bbart

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Re: Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« Reply #3 on: Monday 11 October 21 09:33 BST (UK) »
I don't know if it will help with the context of those 3 letters could be, but wiki indicates the child's father to be a Reverend:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_Stedman

Offline Watson

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Re: Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« Reply #4 on: Monday 11 October 21 10:37 BST (UK) »
Would an abbreviation for "senior" make sense?  (There seems to have been a Francis junior.)

Offline Richard A Smith

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Re: Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« Reply #5 on: Monday 11 October 21 13:30 BST (UK) »
It's either three or four letters.

The first is long-s.  The last is e.

It could be she.  I think this is most likely.

I'm not sure the first letter is a long-s.  If you compare it with the name Ursula in the next line, it looks much more like the l than the s.  Even if it is an s, it's hard to see how the word could be she t doesn't make sense in that position, and an h would normally have a descender in this period, which this word does not have.

I also don't think an abbreviation of senior is all that likely, and not just because I don't think the first letter is an s.  It would be normal only to differentiate when there was another adult of the same name.  There was a younger Francis, but he was no more than 15 years old probably quite a lot younger, as I have a theory that the child baptised in 1627 died young and there was a later child of the same name.  But the more serious problem is that I've not found the words senior and junior to be not at all common at this time in England the more usual term would be the elder.

The father, Francis Stedman, was the vicar of the parish, and even if he was often absent (as many priests were), his name will have been familiar to the clerk who wrote up the register.  So I don't think it can be the case that this word is actually part of the surname.  A qualification or occupation seems most likely.  None of his other children's baptisms that I've seen have a similar word there, but there is a word there on Ursula's burial record (attached) which fairly clearly reads Cler with an overline denoting an abbreviation.  This word clericus was commonly used in Latin at this time to mean a priest, and the entry is partly in Latin. 

My best guess is that the word in the baptism entry also says cler with the loop before the l being a vestigial c.  But I admit it's not at all clear, and I cannot see anything that looks similar elsewhere in the register.  I'm not too concerned that it is written very differently to the cler in the burial entry that was 31 years later and is fairly clearly written in a different hand.

Offline Bookbox

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Re: Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« Reply #6 on: Monday 11 October 21 14:23 BST (UK) »
Could you please answer the query raised in reply #2 by GR2?

What is found after the father's surname on the other entries on the page?

Offline Richard A Smith

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Re: Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« Reply #7 on: Monday 11 October 21 14:25 BST (UK) »
Could you please answer the query raised in reply #2 by GR2?

What is found after the father's surname on the other entries on the page?

I already have:

None of his other children's baptisms that I've seen have a similar word there, but there is a word there on Ursula's burial record (attached) which fairly clearly reads Cler with an overline denoting an abbreviation.

An unrelated child on the same page has 'gent' written after the father's name, but I can't see anything that looks like this word.

Offline Bookbox

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Re: Word in a 1640 baptism entry
« Reply #8 on: Monday 11 October 21 14:31 BST (UK) »
Could you please answer the query raised in reply #2 by GR2?

What is found after the father's surname on the other entries on the page?

I already have:

None of his other children's baptisms that I've seen have a similar word there, but there is a word there on Ursula's burial record (attached) which fairly clearly reads Cler with an overline denoting an abbreviation.

We're asking about other entries on the same page, not other records relating to the same family. The objective is to establish whether there is any discernible pattern in this part of the register for referring to fathers in general.