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Length of time between birth and baptism

Discussion in 'General Genealogical Queries' started by jorghes, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    I just found a new cousin through LostCousins and it made me reflect on one of my more interesting ancestors (whom my cousin and I share).

    I'm fairly sure I've mentioned him before - he married three times, emigrated between marriages 2 and 3, but went back to England to marry wife number 3! - This forum was instrumental in me finding three of his four daughters who died in infancy with the interesting names.

    But one of the things that has always amused me most, is that George got baptised at the ripe old age of 33...

    Anyone else got an ancestor who waited that long to get baptised? Or anyone know of a reason why George may not have been baptised as a baby?

    I have attached the page, you can find George Wilson reasonably easily if you look down the dates of birth column which has been added, he's the only "1815" in the list of "1848"s - He was baptised on 18th January 1849.

    Image copyright West Yorkshire Archive Service courtesy of Ancestry.
  2. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I have several ancestors who were baptised as adults, including one baptised in 1769 at the age of 57. Her parents were Quakers.
  3. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    I also have a number of ancestors baptised later in life - including my mother who was baptised in her forties, shortly before her confirmation.
  4. Kate

    Kate LostCousins Member

    I have noticed that some people are baptised before their church wedding. I suppose it was never compulsory to be baptised but I thought that years ago baptisms occurred soon after birth.
  5. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    Both my Dad's sisters were baptized before their weddings here in Canada. I can find no record of them or my Dad being baptized when they were born in England, probably because they were all illegitimate. It was then that my grandmother gave them the alleged name of their father; I am not sure if that was important for them to be married in the Catholic church. Since my parents were not married in that church, he was not baptized. If my mother was, here in Canada, I have no record of it.
  6. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    This is not a case of that - he married for the first time in 1838 (to a 16 year old girl according to his marriage records) and a second time in 1840. By 1849 he also had 1 living child and three deceased. (Third marriage in 1856)

    The other ironic thing about all of this is that all of his children were baptised in a Methodist Chapel (that I've found and were born in England - children of his third wife were born in Australia), but he married three times and was baptised in the Anglican Parish church.
  7. A. Muse

    A. Muse LostCousins Member

    Not very long gaps between birth and baptism, but I have an instance of 3 brothers and sisters being baptised at the same time, ages (if I remember correctly) 5-9 yrs.
    They were a family in East London, one supposed reason for the baptisms was so they could join the Sunday school, and go on the Sunday school outing, which would have been a rare treat for them at the time.
  8. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    I have a case of 5 siblings baptised together, my 3x great-grandfather and 4 siblings in 1809. Their ages ranged from infant to 8 years old. The two eldest children of the family had been baptised as infants in 1797 and 1798 - and two youngest ditto in 1810 and 1813 - so I've no idea why the delay with this 'middle' group.

    I have also come across at least one relative baptised as an adult in their twenties. I assumed this was to facilitate a church wedding.
  9. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I have a few instances of 'mass baptism' one in particular was a great grand uncle who had 11 children from 1874 to 1893.
    On 23 Apr 1880 the oldest 4 children were baptised, their father was a Baker (I didn't mentions buns).
    The next child was born and baptised within a month in 1881, the father had changed his occupation to Greengrocer.
    The next child was born in 1883 and baptised in 1887.
    The next child was born and baptised within a month in 1885.
    The remainder were all baptised within a month of birth.
    The father died in 1895 at the age of 39.
    It seems the mother carried on with the greengrocery business, being listed in a city directory in 1900.
    In the 1901 census she is at a different address, her occupation is Charing and 4 children were still at home plus an illegitimate granddaughter.
  10. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It was quite common for people to be baptised at the same time as their children - it could possibly indicate a non-conformist background.
  11. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    Apologies - forgot to cite the record, if anyone is wondering, it was taken from the West Yorkshire Records on Ancestry: (Old Reference Number: 40D90/1/2/12; New Reference Number: BDP14 ) - I'd have added it to the original post, but I can no longer edit it!
  12. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    I have a direct ancestor who was 63 when they were baptised.
  13. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I can't think of anything more appropriate:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Sounds like the take out of a late insurance policy but better late than never.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    One of my thoughts with the late baptism of my 57 year ancestor, was that it might have been to ensure she could be buried with her husband in the parish churchyard.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    You have to be baptised to get an insurance policy??
    • Creative Creative x 2

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