Genealogy Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Double Baptism?

Page 0 + 1 of 2

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. »
ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


KeithG Report 24 May 2021 20:54

I have found records for the baptism of Maria Ellena Fewell 27 March 1813 in St George, Hanover Square, and Maria Eleanor Fewell 5 April 1813 in Little Canfield All Saints, Essex.

It seems likely these are two baptisms for the same person. I suppose this could have been done to give the child two claims under the Poor Law. Can anyone suggest why else this might have been done please?


ArgyllGran Report 24 May 2021 21:17

Hi, Keith.

For our reference:

Maria Ellena Fewell
in the Essex, England, Select Church of England Parish Registers, 1518-1960
Name: Maria Ellena Fewell
Gender: Female
Baptism Date: 5 Apr 1813
Baptism Place: Little Canfield, Essex, England
Father: James Fewell
Mother: Ellena
FHL Film Number: 1471966

Maria Eleanor Fewell
in the London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1920
Name: Maria Eleanor Fewell
Gender: Female
Record Type: Baptism
Baptism Date: 27 Mar 1813
Baptism Place: St George Hanover Square, Westminster, England
Father: James Fewell
Mother: Eleanor Fewell
Register Type: Bishop's Transcript

And this baptism record also gives her DOB:

Maria Eleanor Fewell
in the Westminster, London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1919
Name: Maria Eleanor Fewell
Age: 0
Birth Date: 6 Mar 1813
Baptism Date: 27 Mar 1813
Baptism Place: St George, Hanover Square, London, Westminster, England


KeithG Report 24 May 2021 21:22

Thank you ArgyllGran!

I suppose I really ought also to ask if we can show that these are baptisms for different people, although I'd really find that a stretch.

I can also add that she gave her place of birth as Broxted, Essex, in the census returns eg C1861


ArgyllGran Report 24 May 2021 21:25

You may well be right in your assumption re the Poor Law, Keith.

This thread below comes to the same conclusion:

"... there was this thing called "Right of Settlement". To gain right of settlement, one had to be baptised in the parish where you were born. Being baptised meant that you were recorded in that parish. The proof was there in the baptism register!
If at some later date you (or your parents) became destitute and in need of parish relief, then "Right of Settlement" kicked in. If you didn't have right of settlement, then you were "removed" to another parish where you did! So that parish would have to pay.
Now.... some people cheated the system, and had their children baptised in more than one parish!!"


ArgyllGran Report 24 May 2021 21:26

I'm quite sure the two baptisms are for the same child.

Same unusual name, and same parents' names.


KeithG Report 24 May 2021 21:39

Yes, I was also 99.999% convinced that they are for the same person. London and Little Canfield are not at opposite ends of the earth, but even so I would have thought it quite a hike for what was probably an agricultural labourer's family.
Thank you for the link to the British Genealogy forum!
It's also conceivable (just!) that the family moved from one place to the other.


safc Report 24 May 2021 23:42

Marriage entry While we have made all efforts to correctly record the information in the original document there may be different interpretations of the written words. If you have access to the original document and believe we have made a mistake you are encouraged to report this to us. Report an Error in this Data Field
(only fields with a value are shown) Value
County Middlesex
Place (Links to more information) St George Hanover Square
Church name (Links to more information) St George Hanover Square
Register type (Links to more information) Other Transcript
Register entry number 54
Marriage date 23 Aug 1812
Groom forename James
Groom surname FEWELL
Bride forename Eleanor
Bride surname JONES
Transcribed by Katherine Chaveli
File line number 941

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 25 May 2021 09:15

I'd also go along with the Poor Law suggestion.

An alternative answer may be that the first date was a private baptism and the 2nd date when the child was received into the church at a public ceremony.

I have also heard of parents wanting to keep both sides of the family happy and so have the child baptised near both sets of grandparents' homes.

A chance to view the original documents just might show some further information.


ArgyllGran Report 25 May 2021 10:03

The two images re 27 March are viewable on Ancestry.

The one without the DOB shows hers as one of 11 baptisms in St George's parish that day.
The one with the DOB shows it as one of three.
No other info

There's no image of the later baptism in Little Canfield.

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 25 May 2021 11:49

That's interesting ArgyllGran.

I see that besides a difference in number of baptisms, there is a difference in officiating clergy according to those records.

Errors in copying across, I guess.


alviegal Report 25 May 2021 12:00

I asked the same question some years ago Keith but mine were baptised in the same place so 'right of settlement' doesn't come into play in my case.


Kense Report 25 May 2021 14:24

The image of the Little Canfield entry gives James' occupation as Farmer and their abode as Lt Canfield. It was signed by J Butterfield curate.

It is only the third entry in the book but for some reason the curate has put it in the second slot with the second entry (different date to the third entry). The fourth entry is written at the top of the third slot as though he planned on saving space but the rest of the entries are entered using the slots as intended.

All but two of the other entries had Labourer as the occupation. One of the exceptions was for Eleanor daughter of James and Susanna Fewell, also a Farmer. That was on July 17.


Kay???? Report 25 May 2021 18:28

One is a church record and the other is from the Bishops Transcripts most parishes had a Diocese of head of the county and BT were sent a copy to be entered into records archived at head of the Bishops Diocese===a Cathedral..

""""In its most basic sense, a bishop's transcript is a copy of a parish register. As bishop’s transcripts generally contain more or less the same information as parish registers, they are an invaluable resource when a parish register has been damaged, destroyed, or otherwise lost."""


KeithG Report 6 Jul 2021 20:31

Oh dear, I hadn't seen several of these replies (no alert from GR), I'm sorry, and thank you for adding your thoughts.

safc - could you please say where you found the marriage entry for Fewell & Jones?

alviegal - I suspect I'll have to share your conclusion in the other thread - I'll never really know the reason!

Many thanks!!



nameslessone Report 6 Jul 2021 21:10

Keith, Genes do not send out ‘alerts’ when someone adds a post to your thread. They do, however, let you know if someone sends you a pm.


KeithG Report 7 Jul 2021 11:02

I wondered about that because I "seem to recall" © receiving them in the past. So I checked and at the top of the page "Watched Threads" I find this:

This is where you can keep a copy of your watched threads. At the top of each thread you'll see the option to watch them. You can watch your own threads or any others that are of interest to you. Tick the 'watch' column to receive an email letting you know that there are replies on your watched threads.



ArgyllGran Report 7 Jul 2021 12:15

Yes, but there are several bits of GR website that don't work as they are supposed to - and never will, in spite of many suggestions and complaints by members.


Maddie Report 7 Jul 2021 12:41

ancestry version of marraige
Name: James Fewell
Marriage Date: 23 Aug 1812
Marriage Place: St George, Hanover Square, London, Westminster, England
Search Photos: Search for 'St George, Hanover Square' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
Phillimore Ecclesiastical Parish Map:
View this parish
Spouse: Eleanor Jones

Last name Fewell
Birth year -
Marriage year 1812
Spouse's first name(s) Eleanor
Spouse's last name Jones
Place Westminster St George Hanover Square
County London
Country England
Source Boyd's marriage index, 1538-1850


Maddie Report 7 Jul 2021 12:52

Name: James Fewell
Gender: Male
Baptism Date: 6 Mar 1791
Baptism Place: Little Canfield, All Saints, Essex, England
Father: William Fewell
Mother: Susanna Fewell
Phillimore Ecclesiastical Parish Map:
View this parish
Source Description: Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials; Service of Church: Registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials; Incumbent; Little Canfield, All Saints; Parish Records;1729-1812

Last name Jones
Birth year 1797
Birth date 26 Apr 1797
Baptism year 1797
Baptism date 17 May 1797
Father's first name(s) John
Mother's first name(s) Mary
Parish St George, Hanover Square
County Middlesex
Country England


KeithG Report 7 Jul 2021 18:55

Hello (again) ArgyllGran

That sounds like the voice of (bitter) experience. FWIW they received another complaint / request for help today.

GR was my introduction to genealogy but I soon moved on to FMP and Ancestry so I haven't really noticed the shortcomings. The really valuable part of GR is here and the volunteers who tirelessly help.