Precious Papers

How old are the most ancient baptism certificates you possess?

I have two certified copies of baptisms, one baptism was in 1818 and the other in 1786. So what you say – we can all order certified copies. These however were written in 1882 and 1851 respectively. Why I wonder might they have needed them?

John Huxtable my 3x Gt Grandfather was baptised on 26 March 1786 in Bondleigh, the son of John and Mary (?W) Huxtable, certified copy of the register entry written out by Geo Stone Rector of Bondleigh 1 June 1851.

It seems very likely this was to prove his age in order to claim his pension. That was 5 shillings for a single person or 7 shillings for a married couple.

The certified copy baptism certificate for his daughter Kezia Ellis Huxtable born 18 Oct 1818, daughter of John and Kezia Huxtable, and older sister of my 2x Gt Grandmother Eliza Ching was written out in 1882. I would suspect this was also acquired in order to prove she was above pensionable age.

Note the one penny stamp given in payment to validate it, signed by the rector Edw R Theed. He clearly took considerable care to draw the pencil lines with his ruler to keep it neat! He gives the page number (17) and the entry number (129).

I suspect it was the third Kezia, Kezia Huxtable Ching, Eliza’s daughter who carefully preserved and passed them on.

What is the oldest original (or almost original) baptism certificate you have in your possession?

Please note I would love to see family trees and copies of any certificates or documents relating to anyone who has ever been a Sticklepath resident. Certificates are very helpful for constructing and proving family connections, and looking at prevailing causes of death.

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