Family history through the alphabet – B is for Birth and Baptism

Family History Through the Alphabet – Picture from Genealogy and History News

B is for Birth and Baptism

For this week’s alphabet challenge I am taking a moment to reflect on the pitfalls that any new genealogist runs into when researching birth dates. It took me a while to realise that I would have a better chance of finding a birth record if I started at the other end of life and was armed with information from death, marriage and census records first. I also made a few mistaken assumptions about birth years from reading baptismal records. I have since learned that having three children baptised on the same day did not necessarily mean triplets. Several of my ancestors waited a couple of years before they wandered over the hills to the church and baptised their children. Another little challenge which some of my family presented me with was the question of where to look for baptismal records as they were non-conformists. I have one set of Cracket ancestors whose childrens’ baptisms are spread over traditional baptism in the local parish church, dissenter records, Presbyterian and Methodist. This year I have also come across another interesting challenge in interpreting birth and baptism dates. This is the dual dating system which operated at the time of the official change from Julian to Gregorian calendar. I wrote about this in my  Double dating post on 24 April 2012.

B is for Bainbridge

In my pedigree B is for Bainbridge starting with great great granny Eleanor Bainbridge born about 1828 or 1829 at Walker in Northumberland.

If you would like to know more about this weekly challenge take a look at Family History Through the Alphabet.

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6 thoughts on “Family history through the alphabet – B is for Birth and Baptism

  1. Enjoyed this post Lyn. I too made similar mistakes with birthdates and chuckled over your comment that 3 baptisms didn’t mean triplets. Remember when I first realised that 2 children born in the same year did not necessarily mean they were twins. mmmhhh… Cheerio

    • Learn something every day at this game Catherine. I did, however, have the reverse experience at Easter when I had two different boy names on one date from different indexes, then looked up on the microfilm of the records and found 2 boys with same baptismal date and same birthdate. Real twins at last :)

  2. Pingback: Family History Through the Alphabet – B is for … | Genealogy & History News

  3. So true. There are so many trees on ancestry where the date of birth is listed as the baptism date and as we know sometimes children were baptised many months or even years later.

    • Good point Sharon. I am wary of any dates I find on Ancestry until I have verified them. Am also well aware that I have unreliable dates on my own tree on Ancestry. Trying now to work systematically through and source my information.

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