A Chrisome

Discussion in 'Essex' started by Findem, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    It seems likely that 2015 is going to be a year of coming up against things in genealogy I haven't encountered before, the other day Decline now today A Chrisome.

    I was looking for Hannah Skinner who married Edward Harv(e)y in 1744 at Gt Leighs.

    In FreeReg I found two children buried at Bocking who might be her nephews, they were William and Thomas Skinner both buried 3 Sep 1745 at Bocking Essex, in the notes column it stated "A Chrisome", never come across that term before.

    For anyone who like me hasn't heard that term here is the Wikipedia (via Google) explanation of the term.

    "Anciently, a chrisom, or "chrisom-cloth," was the face-cloth, or piece of linen laid over a child's head when he was baptised or christened. Originally, the purpose of the chrisom-cloth was to keep the chrism, a consecrated oil, from accidentally rubbing off. With time, the word's meaning changed, to that of a white mantle thrown over the whole infant at the time of baptism. The term has come to refer to a child who died within a month after its baptism—so called for the chrisom cloth that was used as a shroud for it. Additionally, in London's Bills of Mortality, the term chrisom was used to refer to infants who died within a month after being born."

    In the case of William and Thomas the last sentence must apply to them because on FreeReg there are no baptisms for them.

    I did by the way find a couple of Hannah Skinners at Bocking one of whom could fit my bill.
    Hannah daughter of Thomas Skinner born 2 Mar 1716/17 & baptised 22 Mar 1716/17, buried 26 Mar 1717.
    Hannah daughter of Thomas Skinner born 1 May 1718 & baptised 13 May 1718.

    As per usual there's a fly in the ointment, also on Free Reg in Bocking burials Hannah Skinner buried 26 Mar 1729, this burial like 3 other Skinner burials 1723 to 1731 gave no other info. I did notice that baptisms for children of Thomas ceased at 1719, his children ranged from the first child Martha 1703 to Thomas 1719.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
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  2. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Would you believe it, Chrisom turned up again, checking out my King(e) line in Castle Hedingham Essex on FreeReg.

    John King buried 12 Jan 1696 Crysome.
     
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  3. KatysDad

    KatysDad New Member

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    I have just been searching Bocking on seax and I too found this Chrisom in my SKINNER line in 1760- very interesting. I checked your entries for Hannah by the way - she was actually born in 1717 and a burial was recorded in September 1729 - some incorrect transcription going on here ... please see the attached files.
    Steve
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Thanks for those images KatsDad so she was buried 16 Sep not 26 Sep, before I make any comments I'd better go into FreeReg and check again just in case it's my error. :D

    Shame they both died, Hannah would have fitted in nicely, oh well, win some, lose some.
     
  5. KatysDad

    KatysDad New Member

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    No problem. Its not necessarily the same Hannah buried in 1729 - this parish seemed to record when it was a minor and I would have expected it to have been recorded as 'daughter of ...' at only 12 years old. It could well be a member of the previous generation(s) of the extended family who seemed to herald from those parts. If Essex is your main interest and you have £85 to invest it may well be worth you visiting https://secureweb1.essexcc.gov.uk/SeaxPAM/Register.aspx
     
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  6. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    I have never heard of Chrisom either. I have not seen it before but - now I know what it means I'm sure it will pop up all the time. Thanks for that fearless one :)
     
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  7. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Me too, it's a bit disconcerting in situations like that because I tend to think "now did the person forget to add a note such as child of, or is the person buried an adult".

    I will be going onto the online Essex Ancestors, probably in a couple of months when temperature cools down and the grass growth slows, I have search lists as long as your arm. The Bocking Hannah is on my list.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  8. PETER MEDCALF

    PETER MEDCALF New Member

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    I have a A Chrisome Medcalf died 1687 in Bocking Essex son or daughter of Isaac medcalf 1667 - 1715 and Elizabeth 1665 - 1729
    Didn't know it meant that being tried to find A Chrisome for ages
     
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  9. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    From McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopaedia
    'The First Common Prayer-book of King Edward orders that a woman shall offer the chrisome when she comes to be churched but if the child happens to die before churching she was excused from offering it and it was customary to use it as a shroud and to wrap the child in it when it was buried. Hence by an abuse of the word, the term is now used in England not to denote children who die between the time of their baptism and the churching of the mother but to denote children who die before they are baptised and so are incapable of a Christian burial.
    Catechism of Trent page 136. Hook Church Dictionary.
     
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  10. Dogsday

    Dogsday Well-Known Member

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    Children were baptised as soon as possible after birth, often the same day, the mother was given a piece of white linen, if the family was poor the cloth was provided by the church, about one and a half yards long to wrap the child in, if the child died before the mother was churched, (the church regarding childbirth as 'unclean'), the child was wrapped in the cloth which was then tied with rags and was buried. If the child survived, the cloth was given to the church when the mother was cleansed.

    Read in a very old book about church registers.
     
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  11. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    It is really odd some of the beliefs that people faithfully followed. I wonder if any women today goes to be cleansed? How awful to think of childbirth - usually a time of joy classed as unclean.
     
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  12. Dogsday

    Dogsday Well-Known Member

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    I was brought up Catholic and after my daughter was baptized I was immediately 'cleansed and received back into the church' but when my son was baptized 2 years later, the 'cleansing' had stopped.
     
  13. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Especially as it wasn’t the woman who put it there in the first place. :mad:
    And sometimes not a willing participant as well. Duty called.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  14. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Didn't work for some tho'.
     
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