Baptism Registers After 1813

In 1813 a new form of pre-printed parish baptism register book was introduced, and as a result, entries became more standardised.

There was still no information on the date of birth, although some clergymen added this information, especially where the baptism was not that of a child. The date of birth was more commonly added to registers after about 1860.

Columns in the Register

Columns in the register were:

  • Register entry number
  • When Baptised
  • Child’s name
  • Parents name (Christian and surname)
  • Abode – in a town this would usually (but not always) be a street name, but in a village often just the village name was used.
  • Quality, Trade or Profession
  • By whom the ceremony was performed.

(Church of England parish registers did not include the names of Godparents.)

A typical parish baptism register is shown below:

Aug 27 – Frederick Jesse – Joseph and Edna Pulling – Dursley – Black Smith

Margin notes were fairly common, and below we see three children of the same couple (Ezra & Ann Bendale of Dursley, Carter) baptised on the same day.

William Samuel born January 1854
Laura Minnie born March 1860
Emily Annie born May 1862 – all baptised 20 August 1862

Below, from the same page of the register as that above, we see how the clergyman records the baptism of an illegitimate child.

Sept 10 (1862) – Alfred (son of) Angelina Smith – Dursley Union – Single woman

By the latter half of the 1800’s registers had an additional column for the date of birth, but many smaller parishes continued using the old register books until a much later date when they were full. The example below is from the 1868 baptism register of St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham. Note that the street names are stated. “Upper Talbot Street” and “Angel Row”.


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