View Full Version : reasons why a delay with baptism would occur

16-10-2004, 5:13 AM
I have been researching my Cooper family from in and around Birmingham from 1792 onwards.

All the children appear to have been christened within a very short time of their births.

By obtaining a copy of the St Phillips Baptism records I can see that their children were baptised here.

I have recently become aware of another daughter(Sarah Ann Cooper)who had not been mentioned in later census figures. I therefore assumed she had died, but she later is mentioned in her father's will.

Sarah Ann and Emma Amelia daughters of Samuel and Hannah Cooper are listed as baptised on December 26 1864, they were living in Digby Street Birmingham.

I can find out info about Emma's birth, but not Sarahs. For various reasons I think she may have been born between 1847 and 1864, most probably about in the late 1850's.

was this usual for a family wait so long for a baptism? does anybody know why it would happen?

16-10-2004, 10:21 AM
I just saw this thead when checking the new posts. I've transcribed many parish registers for my own county of interest (Norfolk) and from there I can say that there was a growing trend as the 19th century progressed, for children to be baptised sometime after birth. Quite often I've come across a family having a job lot done, with registers including ages of several children from 17 down to a few months. The largest number of children I have come across being baptised in one go is nine.

I don't know of the reasons for this change, but the catalyst appears to have ben the short-lived Stamp Act of 1783. This placed a duty of 3d on each Parish Register entry and caused the rise in private baptisms for the 10 years of its existence, and for sometime afterwards. Prior to the Stamp Act, very few late baptisms; after it an increasing number. I can only guess that changing fashion either felt it was better to have a joint celebration, or the family had some form of reception/provided food, or paid for the baptism and wanted to keep cost down

Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Marlene Dale
16-10-2004, 11:57 AM
I have one baptised at 34 years - with her children - wouldn't have found it otherwise!:)

Rod Neep
16-10-2004, 1:18 PM
And some are baptised just before they marry. That's always a "confusing" one, as you expect them therefore to be a child, but they may be 21 years old or more.


Guy Etchells
16-10-2004, 2:17 PM
Some are even baptised after marriage. -

HART, Sarah, baptised 30 November 1741, wife of, CHARLES HART, first child baptised 03 December 1742

HAUGHTON, Ann, baptised 09 July 1755, wife of, William HAUGHTON, Ann & William married 30 November 1753 first child baptised 25 November 1754

RAGSDALE, Sarah, baptised 03, June 1804, wife of, Richard RAGSDALE, Labourer,

They are often described as above Wife of.
It makes you wonder why they decided to get baptised at such a late date perhaps in some cases it was before the birth of a child, perhaps after the death of a child or parent, or perhaps there has been a change of vicar and the new one is chasing them up.

16-10-2004, 2:56 PM
Wow, so many responses and so fast. A huge thanks to you all, there are many possibilites here. I will use them as starting points for putting the story together and following more leads.
Helen from Oz