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Double Baptism?

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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."""