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Birth Dates before 1830s

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JohnDoe Report 20 Mar 2013 12:32

I understand that births may not be recorded officially before the 1830s but I do come across some supposed dates of birth.

But I would assume that these dates would be more like baptism/christening dates?

What are your opinions, facts, views upon this? Do you think I should class it as a baptism or christening date?


David Report 20 Mar 2013 12:36

Parish records will give the date of the christening/baptism, but sometimes, if you look at original registers, you can be lucky and find the date of birth given too.

Civil registration started in 1837, but registration wasn't compulsory until the 1870s.


Kense Report 20 Mar 2013 14:23

If you are getting the information from some document or transcription of a document then it should be clear whether it is a baptism or not.

If the information comes from someone else's tree then you shouldn't include it until you have checked for yourself. At the very least you should quote that tree as the source of your data.


Malcolm Report 20 Mar 2013 14:25

In Scotland it depends upon the diligence of the person keeping the records. The commonest form is to state the date of the childs birth and it's eventual christening however often only the christening date is shown. It's also worth remembering that sometimes several children would be christened at on time. I've often assumed twins or even triplets when in fact it was just that the parents couldn't get up to the church very often - especially country parishes!


Jonesey Report 20 Mar 2013 14:37

I was able to discover the actual birth date of several of my ancestors born between 1795 and 1820 in a family bible. Even the actual time of birth was recorded against some of the individuals Recording such facts in the family bible was common place amongst those who could read and write.