Baptisms and Godparents

Discussion in 'Church Records' started by thalauafu, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    I am Godmother to 2 boys who are not related to me in any way. However, in their parents' wills, I was also made their guardian should anything have happened to the parents.

    (I heaved a sigh of relief when the boys reached the age of 18 with no misfortune occurring to their Mum and Dad! ;))
     
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  2. HildaW

    HildaW Well-Known Member

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    I have a Baby Book which my father recorded all the important information, events etc up to year 5 and in there he has recorded that friends of theirs, a childess couple, are my godparents but I have never seen a baptism certificate and it's not "glued" into the book either - so did I not get a baptism certificate? (would have been Methodist). My father was very meticulous in everything he did (ex-army) and he would have put it in the book if there was one. I also had my original birth cert but that got lost in a move - my OH says I threw it out when "tidying up" moving the office from one room to another after a renovation - we wont go down that road!!!
     
  3. LianeH

    LianeH Well-Known Member

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    I actually have my baptism certificate and the names of my god parents are noted on there but whether they are listed in the registers I wouldn't know. This is C of E. Two of my god parents were an aunt and uncle but the other one was a friend that my parents lost contact with after they moved.

    Like Jan I'm also god parent and guardian to a couple of children, roll on their 18 th:D
     
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  4. Bonzo Dog

    Bonzo Dog Still the Mad Scientist?

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    The only baptismal certificate I have ever seen is the one for my wife's aunt, who was baptised in the Primitive Methodist Church in 1908. It had no provision for naming god parents.

    My Church of England/ Quaker family had the tradition of 2 god fathers and one one god mother for a boy, and one god father and 2 god mothers for a girl. My god mother was an aunt, but as to who my god fathers were . . . . o_O

    Mugwort has made a very good point. The 18th century registers for a local church simply record bare details in a scarcely legible script for entries for the "peasants". It is a very different situation for an important resident. Best, joined up double handwriting, and masses of detail, including names of "witnesses".
     
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  5. Figgs

    Figgs Well-Known Member

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    Bonzo......in my Canadian Anglican (C of E) church, it is the same. My daughter has two godmothers and one godfather. And the truth is, she only knows one...my sister! Of the other two, one died, the other moved away (both English).

    I was just looking at my catholic baptismal and marriage certificates from Jamaica in the West Indies....the same priest wrote them in whatever language he was in the mood for that day, I think. Spanish, French and English. In English someone has translated the word godparent to sponsor I think. An English friend of mine was the translator and perhaps that was the word she was used to. I will copy one over tomorrow if I get a chance.

    PS....My husband grew up in Jamaica and his father's side is Spanish and English, mother is Canadian.
     
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  6. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    Bonzo Dog, I had not thought about it until today, but the tradition of 2 God fathers and 1 God mother for a boy and vice versa for a girl is what I recollect from my childhood (my mother was C of E and my father a Methodist....as I found out only recently from his WW1 Service records!), but I only remember ever hearing about two for myself....a husband and wife who were friends of my parents. If there ever was a 3rd one, I don't have a clue who it might have been, but then I don't even remember the surname of the ones I can recall, and only remember them as Auntie Elsie and Uncle Norman.....even they were not related! Perhaps, as it was the middle of WWll, Godparents were also rationed! :D

    It has just crossed my mind that I don't think my brother was baptised! Must ask him one day!
    Diana
     
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  7. Bonzo Dog

    Bonzo Dog Still the Mad Scientist?

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    That is just ace - wonder how many coupons were needed? :D

    My sister in law and me were godparents to our nephew, who was baptised in the Church In Wales. After my nephew had been "done" I was handed a lighted candle, with no reasons or instructions given. When our nephew's 1st birthday was approaching it was decided we would travel down to south Wales together with my sister in law and her husband.

    Came the day and my sister in law said not to forget the candle. She had managed to find out I was supposed to take it with me and light it again. Oh dear, we had had a power outage during the winter . . . . :oops:

    We stopped off and bought a candle, which we allowed to burn for a while in the car to make it look genuine. For good measure I said "abracadabra" over it, in Welsh. :rolleyes:
     
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  8. Peregrine

    Peregrine Well-Known Member

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    The Uniting Church of Australia, which was formed by the merger of Methodist, Congregationalist and Presbyterian churches, takes the stance that the whole congregation are the godparents of the child being baptised. However, when our daughters were baptised the ministers kindly involved the two women we wanted to be nominated their respective godmothers.
     
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  9. Ken_R

    Ken_R Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read through all the posts but, checking back through certain images, it seems that the practice changed in 1967. The 1st entry in the new Register is dated Nov 26 1967. The previous Register, ended abruptly before completion, on the same date, with a couple of pages to spare.

    Now, whether this was a fixed date, or whether the Minister chose to leave a few spaces for 'late entries', bearing in mind that, for instance, the Church might later be notified of a lay Baptism, or of a [Private] Baptism that was carried out elsewhere by a Minister who was a family member, remains unknown.

    Certainly in the new Register, where the person Baptised was an adult, the names of the persons entered were endorsed 'Sponsor'.

    I only have these images for a single (CofE) Church and am therefore unable to corroborate this change.
     
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  10. thalauafu

    thalauafu R.I.P.

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    Hi Ken,

    I know very little about baptisms in recent years, but having delved into family history research for many years, and from extensive scrolling through the actual Parish Registers from many places, I have never ever seen any Godparents OR sponsors mentioned, nor, indeed, any space to enter such information.

    As it was me that started this thread, I guess that I was musing that if there were such a thing as a separate register which might have recorded this information, I felt that it would have been an excellent additional source of possible family names, which might have helped some of us break down brick walls, especially those that concerned the mother of the child.

    My personal dealings with baptisms etc. though is purely C of E, with the very occasional Methodist/Wesleyan thrown in, but I have absolutely no knowledge of any other Church such as Catholic.
    Diana
     
  11. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    I have only ever seen one instance of Godparents being mentioned in PRs, it wasn't one of mine so I can't remember what Parish it was, probably an Essex one though.
     

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