View Full Version : Conditional Baptism

Gwyn in Kent
17-05-13, 18:57
I have viewed films and registers of Church of England baptisms in many archives and today was the first time I saw noted in a register.... Conditional Baptism.
This was c. early 1880s and was in the Garrison Church register for Shorncliffe Camp, Folkestone, Kent and was for children of soldiers.

Was this just the Army trying to be exact or was this a common way of recording.? One would have thought that the families would know whether or not their child had been previously baptised, which I believe is one reason why a register would be marked in this way.


17-05-13, 21:09
The definition I found was

Christian baptism administered when there is doubt whether a person was ever baptized or whether a former baptism is valid

see where you are coming from with your thoughts, not hot on the subject but could they have been non-conformist before? I was thinking of the not valid part, something not recognised??? Sorry I'm no help, n:p

Olde Crone Holden
17-05-13, 23:02
I have seen "conditional baptism" recorded where the child had previously been privately baptised by a midwife or family member because they were not expected to survive...but did! As there would be some doubt as to whether the baptism held good, then a slightly different form of service would be given for conditional baptism.

Private baptism can be carried out by anyone who has themself been baptised into the Christian faith, in an emergency. If the person then dies, God will recognise the good intent and identify the deceased as his own. If they survive, then the Church will perform a ceremony of conditional baptism to make the person fit for the church on earth.

Hope that makes sense!


Sue at the seaside
17-05-13, 23:55
I think the previous replies are the most likely, but I have known someone have a conditional baptism when their first baptism was done by a sect that didn't acknowledge God as a Trinity! Unlikely in this case I think!

Gwyn in Kent
18-05-13, 20:20
Thank you for your help and views on this.
I'm surprised that I have never come across it before if the explanation is so logical.

I found the copied pages of this register very interesting and plan to go back and take some notes, when I have more time.
What was particularly interesting was that on several entries of baptism there was another line of minute writing and date and place of marriage and name of spouse was recorded. I want to find out who entered the later information and in what circumstances. Someone must have 'reported back' to Shorncliffe from wherever the marriage took place. I didn't take too much notice, but did notice that the wedding venues were miles away. eg. Croydon and Dublin, so I don't think it was a case of one military establishment informing another.
What a bonus possible lead though if one of your family was recorded in this way.


Gwyn in Kent
20-05-13, 20:38
Forgot to say.....
I am very willing to view Shorncliffe baptisms register for anyone, especially if they would like a check to see if any marriage details are logged.