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RE: [Peterhead] Question on OPR Birth records

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  • Christine Tregonning
    Hi Iain, I have a couple of baptisms from Fraserburgh where an Alexander Ritchie was named as a sponsor in the absence of the child s father who I am assuming
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 24, 2011
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      Hi Iain,

       

      I have a couple of baptisms from Fraserburgh where an Alexander Ritchie was named as a sponsor in the absence of the child’s father who I am assuming was away at sea.  From this information I am supposing that a sponsor is a person who is standing in for a parent.

       

      Regards,

       

      Christine

       

      From: Peterhead@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Peterhead@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of iain.birnie
      Sent: Thursday, 25 August 2011 6:42 a.m.
      To: Peterhead@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Peterhead] Question on OPR Birth records

       

       

      I've looked up an OPR birth in Peterhead which has two witnesses but also lists another person as a "sponsor" can anyone tell me what is meant by this?

    • Ray Hennessy
      On 24 August 2011 19:42, iain.birnie wrote: I ve looked up an OPR birth in Peterhead which has two witnesses but also ...
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 25, 2011
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        On 24 August 2011 19:42, iain.birnie <i.birnie@...> wrote:

        I've looked up an OPR birth in Peterhead which has two witnesses but also lists another person as a "sponsor" can anyone tell me what is meant by this?
        ============================================

        Hi Iain

        We recently had a discussion on this on the Aberdeen {Rootsweb] List.

        It would appear that the reason for sponsorship was that women couldn't present their child for baptism and, if the father wasn't present, other male had to stand in.  **

        The reasons floated for an absent father were (at least):
             Father not named or not known
             Father denied paternity
             Father had moved away not knowing of the child
             Father had absconded/flitted to escape responsibility
             Father was working away, e.g. at sea, the army, distant farm
             Father in prison
             Father deceased

        The sponsor was not predetermined; it might be
             The mother's father or other relative
             The father's ditto
             One of the Kirk Elders
             The laird or main landowner or employer.

        **  I don't know if the exclusion of women from this role was (a) Kirk misogyny or (b) the presumption that presenting the child as early as possible after childbirth might be too much for the mother.  Since it is possible baptisms were on occasion performed at the mother's home, the latter reason seems unlikely.  While I haven't made a detailed or rigorous study, in looking through dozens of OPRs I have never seen a baptism where the child was presented solely by the mother.  It would be good to hear if in fact some Ministers did accept maternal presentation.

        --

        Best wishes

        Ray
         
        Forenames website  www.whatsinaname.net
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