View Full Version : Poor Mrs Marsden!
30-09-2005, 5:22 PM
I have found a member of my extended family tree. She was Frances Marsden,1615, nee Jackson of Baslow. According to a posting on One World Family tree she and her husband Edmund had thirteen children by the time Frances was 38. Six children were said to be born on the same day. Surely not, the dates refer to dates of baptism, don't you think? I know it was fairly common to baptise more than one child at the same time but even then, six at a time was a bit much. Is it possible to find out the actual day of birth for these children? What is the earliest record of sextuplets surviving long enough to be christened? Any thoughts on this welcomed,
Best wishes from sunny South Wales
30-09-2005, 5:34 PM
As civil registration did not start until July 1837 you may have a problem finding actual birth dates in 1615. *Sometimes* you can find the date of birth in the parish registers but I have only found that to be during the 20th century.
The dates given were most certainly baptismal dates and yes, more than one child were baptized on the same day. I have one couple baptizing all 8 of their children in the same day.
More information on early parish registers can be found at:
30-09-2005, 5:39 PM
In 1615 there were no birth registers per se, there were only Church Records weren't they? As such, they would record baptisms as you suggest. From what I've read, there was no obligation to baptise a child immediately and baptisms of several children from different years was fairly common.
When you say that "six children were said to be born on one day" do you know who said so? Sextuplets are rare, and the event would be notable. Could this just be someone's recent interpretation of the baptism records?
13 children by the time she was 38 is possible, even without multiple births, though I feel sorry for her! The transition from being pregnant to nursing the new born to being pregant again must have been imperceptible! As for the chances of sextuplets surviving, I'm not convinced.
26-02-2007, 10:24 AM
Your post caught my interest. The only Edmund I have for this period was born in 1611, the son of Hugh Marsden and Alicia Brough, he married an unknown Elizabeth.
"Edmund Marsden (the 9th child) bap. 3 January 1611, was of Parkgate, a farm situate on the top of the hill at the back of Chatsworth House, about one mile from the Hunting Tower and near to the lakes which supply the fountains in the gardens. This farm was held by the Marsdens from 1630 to 1870, when the house was pulled down. He was buried at Baslow in 1685, leaving issue by his wife Elizabeth. who was buried 24 Apr 1694."
I have 10-children for this couple and the dates are all close together. Christenings were costly during this time period and could not be avoided under pain of a fine levied by the Church. For this reason several children were Christened at the same time. I warn researchers not to take the Christening date as indicative of the actual birth date, using the following as an example:
VENTERS, Abbot Christening
Birth Date: 13 Dec 1759
Christening Date: 11 Mar 1770 Recorded in: Bythorn,
Father: Abbot VENTERS
Source: FHL Film 1040980
It's 100-years after Edmund's time but the principles remained the same. Note the 11-year gap between Birth and Christening.
If this is the same Edmund Marsden his ancestry has been traced to Peter de Merclesden b.1156 by professional genealogists.
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