In between looking for the marriage of William GEERING and Ellen NICHOLLS at the East Sussex Record Office last week, I also checked up on the baptism records for their children.
I was checking baptism information I had discovered in the Sussex Family History Group Data Archive (SFHG members only), firstly because it seemed quite unusual, and secondly it needed to be checked at some stage in my research.
The baptisms were in the parish of All Saints, Lewes, Sussex and so far I had identified six children for William and Ellen GEERING. There were records of five children being baptised, one of those was one that I was not aware of, because she was born and died between the 1871 and 1881 census. So there are two children whose baptism I still have to find.
What was unusual was that the five children were baptised in two groups, the first group was baptised on the 5th January 1875, and consisted of William (my 2x great grandfather), Ellen and Emily. The second group consisted of Clara Gertrude (the one who died only a few months old) and Edith, they were baptised on the 7th October 1877.
I often see this sort of thing when I am searching through parish registers, but never before has it been one of my families. I have often wondered about the situation behind these group baptisms, was it simply a catch up or was it a change of belief?
Something like this makes me think that if William and Ellen couldn’t be bothered get their children baptised in a timely manner, then they probably couldn’t be bothered to get married themselves either.