Re-baptised in the same faith... Why?

Discussion in 'Non-conformist Records' started by Sue036, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Sue036

    Sue036 Well-Known Member

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    Susanna Hopkins, born 1766, married Thomas Leedham in 1790 in Burton upon Trent. Most of their children were baptised at the local Wesleyan chapel, including Ann on 27th August 1797.

    I haven't found a baptism for Susanna in her infancy but in 1821 she was baptised in the Cherry Street Wesleyan chapel in Birmingham. This record tells us that her parents were "of Birmingham" and there are other connections with Birmingham for this family so the location doesn't trouble me. I can imagine that perhaps she was not originally a Methodist and wanted to formally join her husband and children in that faith?

    However, the next entry in the Cherry Street baptism register is for her daughter Ann, clearly stating that she is the daughter of Thomas Leedham of Burton upon Trent and was born in July 1797. It gives her mother's name as Elizabeth but I think that is an error, especially as the first attempt to record Susanna's baptism as above was crossed out so the minister was clearly a bit confused?

    Can anyone suggest why Ann would be baptised a second time as a Wesleyan? I can only think that perhaps she needed proof of baptism to marry and it was easier to get re-baptised than to go back home to get a copy of the certificate for her original baptism? I don't have a marriage record for Ann, btw, nor any other record of her life.

    Thomas and Susanna were both later buried in Burton upon Trent so had not permanently removed to Birmingham, although some of their children had.

    Any thoughts on this would be welcome.
     
  2. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    [1] Were there two Thomas Leedhams in Burton upon Trent at that time?
    [2] was Susanna's middle name Elizabeth?
    [3] Was there a nearby baptism which may have caused a mixup for the Vicar? or a Woman attending the Baptism whose name was confused for Susanna? even one of their other children.
    p.s.
    Is yours the Susanna baptised as Susanna Hopkins? Pts william Hopkins & Eliza.
    b.1766 Baptised/Christened 10 July 1821.CHERRY STREET WESLEYAN METHODIST.

    Why was she using her maiden name if it was she? (Hopkins wife of Leedham? did you see the original PRs?)
    Perhaps that's where Ann's entry picked up the name of Elizabeth?


    .
     
  3. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

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    As Ann was born in 1797, the "baptism" on 27th August was probably the "naming ceremony".
    Members of the Baptist 'Church' believe that "baptism" should occur only when the person concerned is old enough to understand what they are committing to.
    And it was total immersion.

    My mother-in-law was a member of the Baptist 'Church', but as she moved around the country there wasn't always a local chapel so she would join the Wesleyan/Methodist community instead.
    Perhaps Ann was baptised in 1821 to confirm her faith?

    Just musing. This has always puzzled me - I wish I'd paid more attention to my dear m-in-law when she lived with us (she would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year, bless her). She never treated me as a lost cause, but she must have wondered how the son of a God-fearing family could end up with an atheist like me!

    Jane
     
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  4. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    I do have an ancestor baptised twice along with several siblings, some of whom were also being baptised for the second time (the first baptisms had generally taken place within 2 or 3 days of birth). The family had just moved to a new village and I always assumed they were 'introducing' themselves (though that doesn't seem to be what is happening in your query).
     
  5. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    Perhaps the infants were sickly and their chance of survival rated as slim, in those cases the infant was quickly baptised usually in the parents home and if it came good then fully baptised in the church.

    Usually but not always so, the first baptism was stated as "Privately baptised" and the second baptism as "Received into the congregation" or similar wording. I have a couple of examples where infants were baptised within a day or two and then baptised again by the same Rector a month or two later, in both cases the entry simply stated baptised. I have seen cases of Private baptisms where it was recorded that the infant was sickly.
     
  6. Sue036

    Sue036 Well-Known Member

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    1. Yes, there were other Thomas Leedhams in Burton upon Trent but only one that I know of that married an Elizabeth between 1760 and 1850 and that marriage was in 1802.

    There were several Ann Leedham's born in Burton upon Trent around the same time (1793-1797), which is why I have been unable to positively identify Thomas and Susanna's Ann in later records. However, only the one of these had a father called Thomas and none had a mother called Elizabeth.

    2. If Susanna had a middle name I have seen no record of it, so far...

    3. There were other family members called Elizabeth and the immediately previous baptism in the Cherry Street register - a month earlier - was of the child of Stephen and Elizabeth Leedam so yes it is very possible that the minister was confused by an Elizabeth Leed(h)am who was present or had been very recently!

    Yes, that is the baptism and I have an image of the original page downloaded from Ancestry in front of me.

    The fourth entry on the page is the baptism of the child of Stephen and Elizabeth Leedam dated June 17th 1821.

    The fifth entry on the page has been partly filled in and then crossed out. The crossed out wording is "Susanna, daughter of William and Elizabeth Hopkins [illegible, possibly 'was baptised'?] in Birmingham".

    The sixth entry on the page reads ""Susanna, wife of Thomas Leedham, and Daughter of William and Eliz. Hopkins, of Birmingham, was born in the year 1766 and christened on the 10th day of July 1821. Registered July 12, 1821...."

    The seventh and last entry on the page (note it is not a standard printed register with 8 entries per page as would be then in use for Church of England baptisms) reads "Ann, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Leedham of Burton upon Trent, was born on the 29th July 1797 and christened on the 10th day of July 1821. Registered July 12th 1821..."

    Note that the record was made 2 days after the event.
     
  7. Sue036

    Sue036 Well-Known Member

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    I see what you mean, although I do think this family were Wesleyan Methodists, rather than Baptists, as I have numerous records indicating that over several generations. I haven't come across any other Methodist re-baptisms but I'm no expert in that faith so maybe it wasn't so unusual?
     
  8. Sue036

    Sue036 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm familiar with that scenario too, although it doesn't really fit with what happened in the case of Ann Leedham, given that she was baptised for the second time when she was in her mid-20s?
     
  9. Sue036

    Sue036 Well-Known Member

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    I'm too late to edit post number 6 above, but wanted to add that the date of birth given for Ann rules out all the other Ann Leedhams I know of born in Burton Upon Trent in the 1790s as they were all baptised prior to that date.

    Having said all of this, for this part of the history of this family I am relying entirely on records available to me on-line or by post with the help of archivists and others, so I don't know what I don't know! I do caveat all of my results accordingly.
     

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