Please up or down vote this question

+4 votes
168 views tells me a person was baptised on 3 march 1737.

so I fill that in on the date of birth with an explanation in the text.

do I tick radio button ABOUT  ---- UPVOTE

or.                           BEFORE ------  DOWNVOTE ?
in Genealogy Help by Sir William Arbuthnot of Kittybrewster G2G6 Pilot (163k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Down-voting does horrible things to both your profile and mine...
"Terrible" things?  Isn't that an exaggeration, Ros?

I don't think so.  Aside from the fact that I used the word 'horrible', not 'terrible', the definition of 'horrible' by the Collins English dictionary is: "If you describe something or someone as horrible, you do not like them at all."

I do not like my G2G profile to record that I gave out down-votes.  It makes me look like a horrible person...

I'm with Ros here, no down voting for me. I hate it when I receive them and on the principle of "do unto others" I've never logged a down vote.
I would enter the following date and mark it before. That would cover birth and baptism on the same date. Then mark the inevitable error as false!!
Oh.  Well, I like giving down votes when I feel they're deserved, and I definitely feel absolutely no horror at all about my G2G ratings because I never look at them.  I never look at thank yous either.  To me, all of that stuff is peripheral to genealogy.  If I think I can help someone, I try to help them.  That's all G2G is to me.  But I understand your perspective.

4 Answers

+7 votes
I would mark it before the date because someone has to be born before they can be baptized. So they were born before that date.  But I suppose that about would work as well.
by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (193k points)

I agree on 'before'.   'About' would mean that they were born around a week or a month - maybe a year - near to the date.  'Before' could mean any amount of time before (which, to my mind, is better, since not all children were baptised close to the date they were born).

Many children were baptized on the day they were born, so would "before" be right?
I'm on the fence with before or about and have used both, although usually before. Although as Helmut mentioned there are/were children baptized on the day they were born.
I would mark it "before." And I don't like to do downvotes. (I have one logged downvote, but I have no idea how it happened.)
I like about because it covers both the before and the baptisms done on the day of birth.  Since you clearly do not know which in this case I would go with the about.
+5 votes

I don't have one answer in any case! (my answer is only relevant to baptisms in the Church of England )

If I have other evidence, such as a sequence of children being baptised at regular intervals, or an age at burial etc then I'd put about  with the year and occasionally,  the month and the year (especially if the baptism is later in the month )

If I don't have any other indication then I would put before (and with some of my 19th Century ancestors it could be several years before . They often had their children baptised  either as an emergency when the child was close to death, or baptised in batches. (quite often these batches happen a week or so after the emergency baptism)

In general earlier baptisms (ie those from the earliest registers)  seem to have  been quite close to the date of birth. The rubrick in the  book of common prayer from 1549 says that baptism should be done publically on a Sunday or Holy day except 'in extremis' (and you will often find in the register, privately baptised in that case) The clerk was also told to  oft admonyshe the people, that they differ [defer] not the Baptisme of infantes any longer then the Sondaye, or other holy daye, nexte after the chylde bee borne, onlesse upon a great and reasonable cause declared to the curate and by hym approved.

If the baptism took place just after the Commonwealth period, then the person could be an adult as many infants missed baptism during that period (the restoration  church in the 1662 BCP,  introduced a new service for the baptism of those 'of riper years') In this case it could be very many years after the birth


by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (273k points)
edited by Helen Ford
+4 votes
The early Christian church baptized people when they accepted the faith, but later during the days of the Black Death, the church began christening children close to the time of their birth.  A lot of children were dying then and the church wanted to make sure they were baptized before they died.  Of course, with the Reformation and afterwards, the English Reformation, churches arose that completely did away with the baptism ceremonies.

I don't think voting yeah or nay helps at all.  Both the Church of England and the Episcopal Church still do infant baptisms though as one person said, there is a baptism ceremony for those of riper years as well.
by David Hughey G2G6 Pilot (925k points)
This is true. But doesn't help me decide whether it is before or about.
+3 votes
As long as the baptism date isn't entered as being the birth date, I dont think it really matters whether you put the date in as before or about. As other people have indicated you might decide to use either one in different situations surrounding when they were baptised.

Again as per other comments, there does need to be some explanation in the biography.

The same situation could be applied to burial dates.  A death date might be expected to be before the burial date, but I have seen records, particularly in young children where they were buried the same day they died.
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (413k points)
For me it should be 'before' as you can't baptise someone before they are born so 'about' is not appropriate as that means it could be after that date. I've come across many instances where whole families of children are all baptised on the same day.  It is extremely rare that a child would be baptised on the day of their birth. But even if they were to ere on the side of before instead of about is better.  Also if it is an adult baptism it might be well before.

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