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Baptised aged 17 years!

Evening again all,

Another post about my pesky Smith family.

I have an ancestor, Charles George Smith born in 1794, Sheffield. He was baptised in 1811 at SS Peter and Paul, aged 17 years. He is given as the son of Charles, gentlemen and Ann Smith.

My question really begins with - why would he be getting baptised at 17. Would this have been his decision or would this be down to his parents? Would this be a repeat baptism? Would he have been baptised as a child and then re-baptised later?! I am struggling to go any further back with this family and with Smith being the name it is makes it even more difficult.

He married Mary Ann Wildsmith in 1814 - requiring a licence. I have a copy of the licence but it gives no further details relating to Charles George or his father/mother.

Any suggestions/ ideas would be greatly received!!

Re: Baptised aged 17 years!

Hi Jonathan, Adult baptism has always been around although its probably more common in recent years when people who have not been baptised as infants decide to join a church.
Also in past years many parents had their children baptised in "batches" to save money (ie would have say 3 children baptised at a time so the eldest one may be 4 or 5 say) although I would think that this doesn't apply to your case.
I suspect he wasn't baptised as an infant & decided to join a church & baptism was required before he could do so.
Good hunting, John

Re: Baptised aged 17 years!


It could also be that he had to be baptised before the church would marry him. This was common even up to the 1960. A friend of mine was married in 1965 and the vicar insisted she was baptised first, although she had been a Sunday school teacher for a number of years she had never been christened.