We welcome any query on Who When Where. If you have previously posted it on another forum (including the old WDYTYA forum), please state this in your opening post - this will save people redoing the research which has been done before: they can look at it and possibly go further with it.

Very basic questions

Share your brick walls here, or help others demolish theirs.
Post Reply
Norfolk Nan
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Very basic questions

Post by Norfolk Nan »

Some 'rule of thumb' questions please:

1. How far would you expect an ag lab to travel from place of birth to where he sets up home with a wife in the mid-1700s? How wide a circle would you draw when looking for a missing baptism?

2. In the same period, would you expect foundlings to be baptised? If not, are there other sources that could be checked?

Thank you

Mick Loney
Posts: 178
Joined: 15 Jun 2020, 07:27

Re: Very basic questions

Post by Mick Loney »

Norfolk Nan wrote:
05 Mar 2021, 12:07
Some 'rule of thumb' questions please:

1. How far would you expect an ag lab to travel from place of birth to where he sets up home with a wife in the mid-1700s? How wide a circle would you draw when looking for a missing baptism?

2. In the same period, would you expect foundlings to be baptised? If not, are there other sources that could be checked?

Thank you
Whilst I don’t have a rule of thumb for the first question, I have been amazed at the distance some of my ancestors travelled, certainly a lot further than one would expect in the circumstances, (i.e. before railways etc). I woild think ag labs might have travelled more than most people, expecially if they were involved with livestock, which they had to bring to markets like London. Turkeys were walked quite a distance (from Norfolk?) to bring them to London, and sheep were driven from Wales for the same reason.

As for question2, I suspect the church had more power in those times, so I would expect people made an extra effort to ensure foundlings were baptised.
Be interesting to see what other people think

User avatar
AdrianBruce
Posts: 156
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 18:57
Location: South Cheshire

Re: Very basic questions

Post by AdrianBruce »

One social history book that I read recently, suggested that normally ag labs would travel no further than the next, or next but one, market town in each direction, as the market towns were where he hired out (each year?).

Mick's comment about driving livestock seems an important addition to that.

I'd agree with him about foundlings, by the way.

And they're not "very basic questions" - the distance one can be quite deep!
Adrian Bruce

meekhcs
Posts: 270
Joined: 02 Jun 2020, 18:19
Location: Lincolnshire, but Hampshire born and bred!

Re: Very basic questions

Post by meekhcs »

More and more parish registers are coming online. Only today FMP have released 38,000 Essex Baptism, and a lesser number for Kent. It is simply a query that you may need to revisit every so often.

Mid 1700's I have found most of my ag labs stayed close to home, work would have been plentiful as mechanisation was still a way off, but there will always be exceptions to the rule. Fast forward a 100 years and they travelled all over the county as they took up new contracts wherever they could find them.

Finally, although rarer then, not everyone was baptised.

User avatar
Guy
Posts: 90
Joined: 01 Jun 2020, 19:14
Location: Wakefield
Contact:

Re: Very basic questions

Post by Guy »

Those are complex questions even though on the face of them they sound simply.
Let us think about what is being asked for a minute. “Norfolk Nan wrote: ↑
05 Mar 2021, 12:07
Some 'rule of thumb' questions please:

1. How far would you expect an ag lab to travel from place of birth to where he sets up home with a wife in the mid-1700s? How wide a circle would you draw when looking for a missing baptism?”

In the mid 1700s ag-labs began their working life and most would not marry until at least 25 years of age. If we only look at a 10 year span with them changing farms each year and them going to the closest hiring fair each year after 10 years they could be 250 miles away from home (if for example they walked 10 miles to the fair and 15 miles from the fair to the new farm). If they had a bad reputation (farmers love to chat with each other at markets etc.) he might choose to walk to the next fair rather than the nearest or to one which was a busier fair he could perhaps almost double that distance.

"2. In the same period, would you expect foundlings to be baptised? If not, are there other sources that could be checked?

Thank you"

The situation regarding foundlings was almost as complicated one good site refering to London foundlings is at tinyurl.com/m2j7m4up This reveals some of the problems the researcher may face. For instance such babies tended to be farmed out to wet nurses and in some cases were in mortal danger. Other foundling hospitals hired wet nurses to live in, in which case the infant may be baptised in the local Church
Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

Norfolk Nan
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Re: Very basic questions

Post by Norfolk Nan »

Thank you all.

I realise the first question is like 'how long is a piece of string?' I know the theory doesn't compare with the reality - and Guy and Mick both have made excellent points - so I really wanted to hear your own ideas. I have a missing baptism/birth for an ag lab from the north Bucks area that I think must be c1740, give or take a few years. I've made extensive enquiries and have come to the conclusion that he's either come from an area that I'm not considering (hence the question) or wasn't baptised at all or the baptism has been lost. I've two local possibilities and there are annoying gaps in the PRs at the right time for both.

The second question is still about this chap, but me wondering if he was a foundling/orphan and taken in by a parish would I still expect to find him in a baptism register somewhere? I suspect so but wanted to your views.

Thanks again.

meekhcs
Posts: 270
Joined: 02 Jun 2020, 18:19
Location: Lincolnshire, but Hampshire born and bred!

Re: Very basic questions

Post by meekhcs »

Regarding your second question.

It would be worth looking at the parish chest records for the village/villages concerned as they may well contain info of an orphan being taken in by another Family, or even another Branch of the same Family, a married sister perhaps of his parents?

Having said that not all parish chest records survive but if they do they will usually be held by the local Record Offices. Although they are closed at the moment an email to the office should answer the question.

Check FamilySearch to see if they have details of records available for the village/villages.

Brunes08
Posts: 18
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 23:09

Re: Very basic questions

Post by Brunes08 »

I have been transcribing records for the Coram Foundling Hospital in London. I started on Transcription Tuesday and have continued as it is so interesting. I don't know where your foundling was discovered but certainly at the Coram Hospital, all the children were baptised and given a name, if it wasn't known. The importance of baptism was so that a deceased individual could be buried in consecrated ground, ie. probably in the local parish church cemetery. Most of the infants were fostered, to a wet nurse or a dry nurse as needed, and sent out of London to other places. If they survived infancy, they would be educated and then placed into apprenticedships. So it is possible that your foundling may have been fostered elsewhere which might explain why you cannot find a baptism. If you have never read about the Coram Foundling Hospital, it is extremely interesting as it was the first charity to care for abandoned children, orphans and those whose parents could not look after them.

Norfolk Nan
Posts: 176
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Re: Very basic questions

Post by Norfolk Nan »

Hi Brunes08. Thank you for the information. My question about a foundling was just a shot in the dark as I don't know for a fact that was his situation. He appears out of no-where at his marriage and after more than fifteen years I still can't pinpoint his origins. However, what you are doing must be fascinating (and heartbreaking maybe?). I've always been impressed by the work of the Coram Foundation. Thank you.

Brunes08
Posts: 18
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 23:09

Re: Very basic questions

Post by Brunes08 »

Hi Norfolk Nan. Yes, the Coram records are very sad with so many infants and young children dying. However, the comforting thing is that they were cared for with food, comfort and medical attention as opposed to what I dread to think could have been the alternative.

Post Reply