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Documents

In this section all of the various documents, certificates etc are filed so that they can be directly accessed. Follow the links to the type of document you are looking for.

Census Returns.

Birth Certificates and OPR birth records.. ( see below)

Notes on the Pursers.

As the Pursers lived exclusively in England, there are much fewer statutory certificates of Birth, Death or Marriage to display. The reason for this is simple, they have not been digitised past the stage of the quarterly Indices. The actual certificates are only available by ordering from the records office at a cost of £15 per certificate. Needless to say this has been kept to a bare minimum.

In addition the Old Parish Records are similarly not fully digitised on a national basis.  Most county Councils offer some form of partly digitised records, though how complete they are varies greatly county to county. These can usually be found via the relevant county's website.

 

Fortunately the Pursers mainly lived in Bedfordshire, ne f the better counties from this point of view. Bedfordshire OPR up to 1830 were  summarised by an enthusiastic Vicar in the 1830's. More of him elsewhere.

 

His summaries are in a form of shorthand but it is easy to read & the way it works is explained. This leaves just a short gap after these summaries and before statutory certification.

Notes on Birth Records.

OPR records sometimes give date of both Birth & Baptism but mostly just the baptism. Where there is no other information, the date of Baptism is used as the date of birth. Whilst this introduces an inaccuracy, the vast majority of children were baptised on the first Sunday following their birth or sooner. Childhood mortality was very high and at the time God did not permit un-baptised children into heaven. ( A bit mean that if you ask me !) Fortunately she has subsequently changed her mind on this.

At the time, there was great pressure on parents to get the child baptised ASAP.  When a child was born who was clearly not going to last long, the Vicar would be summoned and he would do his best to baptise the child at home before it gasped its last.

In desperate circumstances, any Gentleman could say some form of words that would ok it with God on a temporary basis, so that she would be prepared to allow the baby into her place, provided the Vicar did his stuff as soon as possible after the kid pegged out.

It seems only fair that God should be a bit flexible on this, after all it is hardly the fault of the Baby if he dies within a few minutes of his Mum heaving him out. If his death is ment as a punishment for a very sinful parent, it still seems unfair that the kid has to take the rap.

 

Whilst traditionally the sins of the father need to be visited on the children, this workaround presumably worked. Certainly, I am aware of no complaints from babies who have been refused entry.

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