Elis Hare Dawson - an interesting discovery

For the past few days I have been staying in Renhold, the village in Bedfordshire, England where my husband's Dawson ancestors lived.

Elis Hare Dawson was born on 14 December 1821, the first child of Thomas Dawson and his wife Betsy Hare. Thomas and Betsy had been married in 1820 at Old Warden a few miles from Renhold.

I had a reference to the baptism of Elis Hare. The reference was in the Renhold baptisms but indicated that the baptism took place at Old Warden. This was something of a mystery.

I went to the Bedford Archive to investigate. Upon arrival I asked to see the specific register. They told me the baptisms were on microfiche and I would need to use those as the originals were not to be used. I told them that the information indicated that it wasn't a baptism but instead a reference to the baptism and that it was the last entry in the book. I showed them the screenshot I had taken from their online catalogue.

The original baptism register for Renhold was given for me to look at. Sure enough the reference was not a baptism but a memorandum to the baptism on the back fly leaf of the book. Staff indicated that they hadn't seen anything like this before.

Ellis Hare, son of Thomas & Elizabeth Dawson, born 14th December 1821, was baptised at Old Warden in this County on (here there is space for a specific date) 1822 by the Rev. F. Neve.

The Old Warden baptisms indicate that Ellis Hare, son of Thomas & Elizabeth Dawson was baptised on 26th May 1822. The column for residence has been left blank. The others had all been born at Warden.

So what possibilities can be gleaned from these two entries?

1. Thomas and his parents were visiting family at Old Warden. As he was nearly five months old and hadn't been baptised, it was decided that he would be baptised before they went home.

2. Reference to his baptism was made in the Renhold registers so they would not be responsible for him if he ever needed to enter a workhouse.

The baptisms of his siblings can be found in the Renhold baptisms, so his was the only unusual one.

I was able to photograph the memorandum for 50p. While I had use of the original book I also photographed the other family baptisms recorded in the book.

A useful visit to the Archive!

If you are descended from Ellis Hare Dawson too, I would love to hear from you. Please email me via the View my Complete Profile and then the email link.

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