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Time shown on Baptism Record

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Time shown on Baptism Record

Postby Mick Loney » Thu May 02, 2019 3:27 pm

I came across some private baptism records for children of William and Susanna Moore (and other families), entered into the parish register, that shows date and time that baptism was carried out, followed by a date child was received into the congregation:

Elizabeth christened 4th March 1785, received into congregation 6th March
William christened 11.30 am 23rd June 1786, received into congregation 16th July
Henry Christened at 4.45 on 27th July 1788, received into congregation on 10th August

Can anyone give a logical explanation of why this may have happened? I thought they might have been sickly babies, but found nothing about their subsequent burials.
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Re: Time shown on Baptism Record

Postby Guy » Thu May 02, 2019 4:02 pm

The recording of the date of birth and even the time of birth has been required at various times over the centuries.
The Act possibly closest to your dates being “An Act for granting to his Majesty a Stamp-duty on the Registry of Burials, Marriages, Births, and Christenings. [1783] section VII”
In the above Act it is vague whether the actual time of birth be recorded but provides an exception for certain parents if they received parish relief at the time of birth.

A far earlier requirement in a 1644 ordinance required that "... and it is further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that there shall be provided, at the charge of every parish or chappelry in this realm of England and dominion of Wales a fair register-book of velim be kept by the minister and other officers of the church; and that the names of all children baptized, and of their parents, and the time of their birth and baptizing, shall be written and set down by the ministers therein ; and also the names of all persons married there and the time of their marriage ; and also the names of all persons buried in that parish, and the time of their death and burial ; and that said book shall be showed, by such as keep the same, to all persons reasonably desiring to search for the birth, baptizing, marriage, or burial of any person therein registered, and to take a copy or procure a certificate thereof."

Over the years clerics added addition information to the registers they compiled whether require by church ordinance, Act of Parliament or their own judgement.

I suspect in the cases mentioned the cleric wanted to record that the sickly infant (these were private baptisms which should only have been carried out on sickly people) was alive at the time of baptism and so entered the time.
Happily they all gained strength and were able to be received into congregation at a later date.

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Re: Time shown on Baptism Record

Postby Mick Loney » Fri May 03, 2019 6:26 am

Thanks for the information very enlightening.

I still think it strange, that of all the christenings I've come across in the past 20 years, this is the first time I've come across entries that included the time.

Perhaps it was just the enthusiasm of a new vicar! :D
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Re: Time shown on Baptism Record

Postby DarrenP » Fri May 03, 2019 6:31 am

Very likely.
I happened to go through Colyton Devon burials and the incumbent there included parents and occupations for each burial, regardless of age. Perhaps he was an amateur genealogist.
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Re: Time shown on Baptism Record

Postby Cachalot6972 » Fri May 03, 2019 8:21 am

Also Scotland: I have relatives born there in the 1850s who had the time of birth recorded on their birth records.

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Re: Time shown on Baptism Record

Postby Mick Loney » Fri May 03, 2019 10:47 am

In a similar vein, have just come across this amusing entry in Boughton Monchelsea in 1791

July 10th, John Vine Hall aged 17. March 14th, admitted into the Church by the Office for those of 'riper' years
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Re: Time shown on Baptism Record

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri May 03, 2019 11:46 am

Indeed - the phrase "of riper years" is actually taken from the Church of England Book of Common Prayer, which has 3 orders of service for baptisms (not christenings). Two for infants (private and public) and the "of riper years" one for adults.

What's interesting about that is - why 2 dates?

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Re: Time shown on Baptism Record

Postby JaneyH » Fri May 03, 2019 12:53 pm

The act of baptism (at least for Anglicans) is not just about formal ‘membership’ of the church but an act of public witness too. So for those (presumably sickly) who are baptised privately (most likely at home), there was still an expectation that they should attend church to be ‘received into the congregation’ once recovered. The last prayer of the baptism service (which everyone says) is “We welcome you into the fellowship of faith; we are children of the same Heavenly Father; we welcome you.”

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