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 Borders Family History
 People and Ancestry
 "Irregular Baptisms"
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strath

New Zealand
46 Posts

Posted - 23 April 2014 :  04:06:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's been a little quiet on this Forum lately so I'll pose a question.
Can somebody please explain an "Irregular Baptism" and were they conducted by the parish minister?
I can get my head around an irregular marriage but surely you are either baptised or not?
The question arises from a Castleton OPR for Elizabeth Elliot bap.12/12/1766 which is under a list of births headed "Irregular Baptisms".
I know the reason as the parents were unmarried at the time but married subsequently and had other children.
Harry Watson will be pleased to note that on the same page is his notorious Thomas Welsh, Billhopefoot, with two children to different
ladies. (Harry I'll email direct to you!).
This "irregular" baptism heading only seemed to last a few years so perhaps one particular minister. thanks & regards, Strath

Harry D. Watson

89 Posts

Posted - 23 April 2014 :  16:54:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Strath. As I said earlier today in a private email to you, people sometimes had a child baptised a good while after the birth, or even had several children baptised all at once. The page of the Castleton OPR that you refer to in your post is a good example of this, with the birth-dates of the children being baptised often from different years.

One reason for the belated baptisms could be that the family was in dire straits for some reason and had asked for hand-outs from the kirk-session, and I suppose if the minister knew that the children were not baptised, he might have insisted on that being done first. When my "notorious" ancestor Thomas Welsh deserted his family, his wife applied for help from the kirk-session of Wilton, and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th children were promptly baptised. The eldest girl had been done at the proper time but for some reason they had neglected to get the following children baptised.

Incidentally, the Thomas Welsh on that page of the Castleton OPR who had children by two women isn't my notorious ancestor, it's his father - if my researches are correct - and I think he had been married to Isable Grieve before he married Agnes Hall.

Harry
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