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Changing Info on a baptism record

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Changing Info on a baptism record

Postby MaggieBK50 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:20 pm

Hi
I am trying to find out what the legalities are of changing a baptism record and what is the point of doing so. My query concerns a baptism of my grandmother taking place in Hammersmith in 1876. She was born May 27th 1876 and her birth was registered 8th July 1876, she was given the name first names of Marie Twiss, father's name was left blank mother's name Mary Haley. I thought Twiss was fairly uncommon and that it may just have been the father's name, but that Mary just didn't want it on the birth certificate for some reason. The address was 29 Hanover Cottages.
This is where I am confused the baptism took place on the 19th July 1876, details of parent's names Henry and Marie (Mary) Twist (Twiss), residence 29 Hanover Cottages, father's occupation clerk. The sacraments were administered by an Alfred Scott.
In January 1877 details were altered, Henry's names crossed out and the surname entered Haley, mother's maiden name. The occupation was also crossed out. Each amendment was initialled A S, and the word private was included and underlined.
How can this happen surely if the mother disliked the father a person couldn't just ask for his name to be crossed out? On researching Henry I did find a Henry Twiss bank clerk through various censuses and that a few months after his name being deleted he married. Maybe Mary heard this was going to happen and a woman scorned etc., but it still doesn't explain Mr Scott amending the record.
I would appreciate your views on this, maybe it was a normal procedure back then and something quite usual to happen.
regards
Margaret Machin
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Re: Changing Info on a baptism record

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:26 pm

MaggieBK50 wrote:... father's name was left blank ... I thought ... that Mary just didn't want it on the birth certificate for some reason. ...

Unless I'm very much mistaken (and I have been!) this indicates that the parents were not married. In this case, the father's name can only appear if he is present and gives his consent - which tends not to happen. So far as I know, there are no other circumstances in which the father's name is supposed to be omitted.

MaggieBK50 wrote:... details of parent's names Henry and Marie (Mary) Twist (Twiss) ...

The format here (only one surname) indicates that the parents were married. We therefore have a contradiction. Given that
MaggieBK50 wrote:... In January 1877 details were altered, Henry's names crossed out and the surname entered Haley, mother's maiden name. The occupation was also crossed out ...

it appears to me that the couple were genuinely not married. I am not sure what, if any, rules apply to baptisms over names of parents when not married, but presumably in January the priest has found out that he's been lied to over the marriage and has changed the surname to that of the mother, removed all trace of the father, so that the data is now the normal format for an illegitimate child. As I say, I'm not sure what the rules are for baptisms, but at some point in the Victorian era attitudes seem to harden and illegitimate children only have a mother in CofE baptisms.

"Private" simply means that the baptism took place away from the church.
Adrian
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Re: Changing Info on a baptism record

Postby woodchal » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:32 pm

HALEY, MARIE TWISS was registered 1876 S Quarter in FULHAM Volume 01A Page 200, with no mother's maiden name given (ie child has same name as mother)

This would strongly suggest a illegitimate birth. From the information you have Henry Twiss was probably the father. The baptism with a father's name would have been an attempt to legitimise the birth. The fact that the alternations were made would suggest that this attempt eventually failed. probably when Henry married someone else!
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