Baptised one year and married seven years later?

+3 votes
I'm working on a profile for the Sourcerer's Challenge from the 16th Century. I found the marriage info on FS which I added to the profile and included the citation. While searching on FS the only possible source I came up with for baptism was from seven years prior to the marriage. Is that still her? Could she either have been baptised when older or married when younger? Would really appreciate some input from people who know a lot about the 16th Century in England. Thanks all.
WikiTree profile: Alice Farrington
in Genealogy Help by Olivia McCabe G2G6 Pilot (244k points)
I'm inclined to guess that she was baptized when older.
Hi Frank, This is the link for the baptism:

Do you think it's definitely her?

If we both agree I'll add it. The pre 1500 crowd might be interested in researching the parents.
It could be. It's your call.
Ahhh. I was hoping you'd give me the green light ;-)
Helen has give it a lot of thought.
If it makes it easier to decide, I was baptized at 14 and married ar 21. (The baptism didn't take, but still married afyer 50 years)
There is sometimes in English parish records an entry in the baptism section which records the arrival of a new family in the parish. An English parish was the agent for civil administration in this era.
Hi all have decided to go with Helen's response below. It's probably not worth the risk. Thanks all!
I've come across this on the French side as well, a man who came to the colony from France was only baptized shortly before he came.  In some instances for that, they were protestants renouncing the ''reformed'' religion.  France officially did not allow protestants to come to its colonies.

5 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer

I doubt it was the same Ales. The registers for this Church start in 1548 so any child baptised before that would not be recorded. There appears to be a large Heald,, Held, family living there and several Ales's are recorded during the 16th century

The church was certainly in a state of flux, though how much that changed individuals beliefs is something debated. In 1552, the  2nd edition of the book of Common Prayer was introduced, it's affect on baptisms was to mean that except in cases where the child was very sickly, the child would not be baptised in the day or so after the birth, the parents were expected to bring the child to church on a Sunday for  public baptism

Infant baptism was  norm at this period.

T"he Pastours and Curates shall oft admonishe the People that they deferre not the Baptisme of Infantes anye longer than the Sondaye, or other holye daye nexte after the chyld bee borne, unlesse upon a great and reasonable cause declared to the Curate and by him approved."


I also doubt the linked parents are her parents. According to the profile they got married in 1559. According  to the transcriptions on the OPC they married 26 Jan 1551/2 St Laurence, Chorley, Lancs. which certainly makes them candidates for the Alice baptised later in the year but not for a woman married in1559  who is supposed to  have had  2 children in 1563.

(Mary Jane, is recorded as being born in Olney, Northamptonshire but Olney, though  near the border with that county, it is  in Buckinghamshire and I can't find that it has changed )



by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (315k points)
selected by Olivia McCabe
Hi Helen, you have convinced me that it's too risky and I've decided not to add the baptism and parents. Thanks for taking a look at it. Appreciate your input. :-)

I don't have any input to the question of whether or not the record is correct for the person - I am in total awe of Helen's knowledge and analysis skills.

I would suggest, though, that if you are not going to include it as the person's baptism record, it might be good to include the baptism record in a Research Notes section under the Biography and explain why you concluded it is not the correct record.  That will prevent others who may find that record from adding it to the biography.
+2 votes
Most common folks did not get married very young.  They could not afford to...   You see very young children getting married among some of the nobles.  So the first question I would ask is what economic strata did your lady belong to?  

Also remember that people were changing religions sometimes in the 1500s so this could have been a conversion, but generally if it is, it is stated as so.  And if it was a conversion from another Christian rite it would be noted it was a conditional baptism in case the other one was not done correctly because you can only be baptized once in the Christian rites.  

Some rural areas had very limited access to clergy and once again it cost money to get baptized in some of the churches so a later baptism is possible.  I have seen children of ages 3 and older be baptized because the clergy came around to that rural area once every 3 to 4 or 5 years.  

The Anabaptists required a new baptism into their religion.  So that is a slight difference to the other Christian religions.
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (653k points)
+5 votes
Although a novice in wikitree, I like to think I could help to rest your mind with some thoughts? My non wikitree qualifications are 1 history teacher parent & 1 English literature parent; and, that my direct tree so far to 1600 doesn't leave england!

1559 and the years around were a very unstable time in England,

An example of politics & religon affecting people at the time, essentially it was illegal to be Catholic. Many people quickly changed their religion for the sake of family/marriages/politics.... May be even love! Can you establish a change of religion maybe?

A baptism in latter life was very common in 15th/16th century as English monarchs changed their allegiance with the Pope & Rome seemingly regularly!

I am nowhere near qualified to help with profiles this old but i saw your post and thought it may help a little
by Lizzie Griffiths G2G6 Pilot (114k points)
The details of the Act of Parliament 1559 I attached would also 'encourage' many who had not been baptised previously to do so
I'm no historian Lizzie, but your information is helpful!

In my family some were on the record as strongly religious people who believed in adult baptism, and others who didn't seem to think it important until the day before their marriage. I suspect that sometimes the minister may have required it before the ceremony, and now you're giving more reasons why this may be the case.

I sometimes wish Wikitree had a way to distingush the baptism or christening date, distinct from the birth date. It can get complicated when they are used interchangeably.
You're so right Laurie, it would be helpful, but I suppose from a global perspective it wouldn't work for everyone. If we don't know the birth date all we can do is put in the baptism date and indicate that the birth was before that date, no matter how long before. :-)
Thanks Lizzie, that is really helpful, and I'm learning a lot!
0 votes
You would have to check with which church she was Baptized in.

Southern Baptist (or Baptist related sects) Baptize their children at 12 or 13.


by Roy Lamberton G2G6 Mach 4 (43.3k points)
The Baptists didn't come into being until a good bit later than the 1550s.
0 votes
She clearly wasn't baptised as a baby but could have been married as young as 12.
I copied this as it applied to some of my own ancestors:
Up until as recently as 1929 the law in England (and Wales) still allowed boys as young as 14 and girls as young as 12 to be legally married. This had been the case for many years previously although Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 required the consent of parents or guardians to be obtained before a marriage could take place in such circumstances. Source: Ancestral Trails by Mark D Herber.
by Christine Frost G2G6 Mach 9 (90.1k points)

Related questions

+3 votes
1 answer
+6 votes
3 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright