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Discussion in 'Medicine' started by Susan48, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    I'm not sure what category this should come under so have introduced a new topic. Parish registers sometimes contain unexpected or unusual entries, and yesterday I came across a Memorandum in one of the Colchester volumes for All Saints parish, although it refers to a birth in St Peter's parish. It describes a female child born on 31 January 1687, and names the father. From the detailed description it is clear that the baby is actually conjoined twins, with separate bodies from the neck down but sharing one head. She/they lived about half an hour and were then "carry'd up to London for a Sight". I wonder how many other such births were recorded in parish registers. Infant mortality was high at that time, but such a birth must have been unimaginably distressing for the parents and others involved.
  2. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    How awfully sad, must have been terrible for the parents. I wonder if the 'Sight' involved putting them on display somehow as a freak of nature?

    I have come across twins in my family who are not reported as twins in their baptism record at all. Initially I thought they were just sisters baptised together, until I found other evidence showing they were twins. Sadly one of them was blind, and I wonder whether that was from some birth trauma (twin births in 1820 were presumably quite risky).
  3. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    The parish registers I've been looking at include many baptisms of twins, but I've no idea what percentage of births is made up of twins. Infant burial entries nearly always say if the child was unbaptised or stillborn. With baptism being seen as an important step for parents to take, it's frustrating for family historians when some baptisms remain elusive.

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