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Private Baptism

I'm guessing that "Note: pvt" in a 19thC Baptism record means private Baptism? - It was for a 5 year old who was buried a few days later; presumably the parent knew the child was dying. Would the Vicar have visited the house to perform the Baptism, and did they charge extra for that service? I know the family were poor, and the wage earner had died a month previously; grim..

Re: Private Baptism

It probably depended how ill the child was. If incable of bring taken to church then Vicar may have visited home. Worthwhile saying the private baptsisms may also be carried out by a midwife or nurse when it was apparent the baby was unlikely to survive.

Re: Private Baptism

Thanks :relaxed: They lived on Sussex St; I was wondering about the mile walk to St Johns Church, it's fine when you're healthy, but having to carry a dying child wouldn't be so great.

Re: Private Baptism

Is it likely/possible that a family would briefly switch to Baptising 2 children Roman Catholic, then revert to C/E?
I've found 2 children with the right dates & locality but the names are slightly altered (to Latin?)- Mary Jane & Frederic who were possibly baptised at a R'C Church as Maria Johanna and Fridericus, the father listed as 'Jacobi' could be the dad James? While the mother has exactly the same Christian /1st and pre-married name, & I can't find these people listed in any other families in a 100 mile radius - I guess I've answered my own Q; it has to be the same family?!
Sadly one child died 5 years later, and had the private (Anglican) Baptism that I was asking about, so Baptised twice?
Along with a habit of re-using names if a child died - and even sometimes when they were still very much alive but had left their parent's home! - it can get very confusing for the distant relatives 150yrs later.. :wink:

Re: Private Baptism

Hi Sarah,

Possible Scenario.

I remember a number of years ago when we were transcribing either St Marie's or St Vincent baptisms that there seemed to be a strange happening..... and I wonder if it would explain your querie.

It seemed that there was one very active lady acting as godmother to a large number of babies. Many seemed to have in Latin that it was conditional or something like that. This is from memory so I could be wrong.

Are you looking at the same mother for these children?

I wonder if she was a midwife and the babies were baptised at home and she happened to be a Catholic???

Elaine in Ottawa.

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Re: Private Baptism

It's certainly possible that a devout Catholic back in the day might have decided to give an emergency baptism to a child - even one of another faith.

There was an infamous case in Italy in the 1850s, the Mortara case, which caused a big kerfuffle but that's not Sheffield so not for discussion here.

On the other hand I believe that the priests at St. Vincents were very popular with the people in the area regardless of faith, so could Anglicans maybe have popped in for a baptism if they weren't too fussed about the details of religion?

Anyway, Sara is right about James - Jacobus is Latin for James, and it will show up as Jacobi in context because Latin grammar is brain-meltingly complex (I don't claim to understand Latin but son of James isn't filius Jacobus, it's filius Jacobi).


Andrew P.

Re: Private Baptism

Lol! - I don't think it was the attractive Godmother with this family, although it was their Godmother Winifred who seems to have been the catalyst; she was originally from Ireland, so likely already R'C, and married to my ancestor's younger brother, their children were Baptised R'C too and seem to have remained with it, while mine went back to Anglican, inc. the private, & last Baptism shortly after the death of the father.
'Anglicans maybe have popped in for a baptism if they weren't too fussed about the details of religion' - I reckon so; the 3 kids were Baptised altogether, eldest was 9, so the family hadn't been that strict about religion / Christenings with those 3, and perhaps just decided to join in with a more enthusiastic sister-in-law, who was also having her young child Baptised.
*I've found one other family R.C. Baptism 40 years later in 1913, I think it's the grandchild of 1 of the 3 baptised R.C, I wanted to check the records as there's a 0 year old George H. Bradley who died at my relative's address, 29 Paradise St, buried 6 July 6, 1913 in at St Michaels R'C cemetery - & a Georgius Bradley Baptised North Church, where my relatives also lived, no 50 - 'periculo mortis sub conditione' - presumably a baby not expected to live, snag is the Baptism date is 21 July 1913, 15 days after the other's burial, yet it seems too coincidental to be 2 different children? Though there were a lot of Bradleys, & Georges!

Re: Private Baptism

Sara Roberts
Thanks :relaxed: They lived on Sussex St; I was wondering about the mile walk to St Johns Church, it's fine when you're healthy, but having to carry a dying child wouldn't be so great.

If the child was 5 yrs old he would probably have been in the Childrens Hospital.

"The Sheffield Children's Hospital is a healthcare facility for children in Broomhill, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England."

Its a simple as that.


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Re: Private Baptism

My father was baptized a Catholic although his family were C of E. He was very premature and not expected to live long.
The vicar who served the hospital couldn’t be found, and the nurse who was Catholic suggested bringing in the local priest to do the job.
She was very upset at the thought of a baby dying unbaptized, and as it was so urgent his parents agreed.


Re: Private Baptism

There's certainly a lot of 'quirks' with family history. Another part of this same family don't appear to have been legally married - I'd naively assumed all 19thC couples were! It's trickier without a trail of Parish records to follow, and when their unbaptised children alternate using the surnames of both parents - just to confuse me 150+ years later..

Thanks Elaine :relaxed: - but the 5 year old was the emergency / private Baptism, who died at Sussex St and the one who 'Died at Broomhill' was 6 months old. I was hoping the Children's Hospital would solve it, but the child died 14yrs before it opened, drat!

*I'm going to put it away for tonight & go make a nice Cup of Tea instead.. :laughing: