View Full Version : Does father have to be present at baptism to be named?

27-07-2006, 7:04 PM
Hello all you experts out there - can anyone tell me wether or not a father had to be present at the baptism ceremony to be named in the Parish register? Oh I forgot to mention the year, it was 1843. Hope someone can help me, as i have found a baptism record, but not a birth registry record. Thanks, Slizzy

27-07-2006, 7:15 PM
No - the entry in the baptism register records the child's parents, not who was present at the ceremony. If there's no father's name in the register, this usually indicates illegitimacy.


louise renfrey
27-07-2006, 7:35 PM
Just as an aside, not to throw a great big spanner into the works, my great grandmother was baptised and brought up by her grandparents and they are named on the baptism entry under parents. Her birth cert shows her mothers name, but no father.

27-07-2006, 7:58 PM
Thanks Arthur and Louise, for your help. It seems the birth wasn't registered, so the only evidence of parentage is the baptism record, the parents named were married, and the reason for my enquiry is this child "mary" was born 1840, she's recorded on the 1841 census living with her mother and maternal grandparents, her father however is not to be found on any census returns. Mary's mother died in 1843, on the 1851 census Mary is listed in her "paternal" grandparent's household. Do you think I can assume the named father at her baptism, is infact her father? Thanks, in anticipation of your help. Slizzy

27-07-2006, 8:01 PM
Oh I forgot to mention - I did trace her named father (he has an unusual name - Holland Hargreaves) I found him on the 1850 Cecil County Maryland US, census.

28-07-2006, 3:22 PM
Should father be present at baptism ?

A time when he quite probably would not be present would be if he were in the armed forces. Tens of thousands of babies must have been baptized in time of war without the father present. Quite possibly he may have been killed in the time between conception and baptism.

Just a case to be considered.


louise renfrey
01-08-2006, 9:08 PM
Bet you are sorry you asked now!!!!! Have seen baptism entries at Chester records office where the Vicar has written 'allegedly' and 'supposedly' and then a fathers name!!!! If you think from bap records its this man with the strange name and have patrnal grandparents then thats all you can go with - either that or go no further. Today, one in five children are calling the wrong person 'dad' even though they think he is their father. We can only go by what is written down now so see where this line takes you and good luck!!!!!!Above all , enjoy it !!!!!!!