Ash Early Baptism Records

1548 to 1650 ~ Ash Parish Register Volume 1

Baptism records in the Ash Register from 1548 to 1592 were copied from some earlier source into the surviving leather book in 1592 so the handwriting and style is the same for that period of 34 years. Note that the words ‘baptism’ and ‘christening’ are used interchangeably in the Register probably reflecting the preference of individual clergy.

Facts and Figures

  • 957 baptism records 1548 to 1653 in Ash Parish
  • No records for 1555 to 1559 when a Rector favoured by Queen Mary’s Catholic government was sent to Ash Parish and he must have kept his own records, now lost
  • Missing baptism records for 1573-4, and 1601-4
  • 1578 has the highest number of baptism records in Ash Parish in this time period
  • The chart suggests birth rate was lower after 1600 than before probably due to the decline of the wool weaving industry

Note: The spelling of names (like all words) was not resolved at this time

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  • Edyth Cowper the daughter of Anthonie Cowper was Christened 24 December 1585
  • Thomas Purse the sonne of Robert Purs was Christened 1 Aprill 1586
  • Jone Purden the daughter of Henry Purdim was Christened 2 Aprill ut. sup. (as above)

The First Recorded Baptisms

The scribe wrote 1549/17 in the margin, indicating that he copied records of seventeen baptisms from the old book. The notations at the top of the page, such as 2d Edward VI. 1548, 1550 1548 were probably added later.

First Recorded Baptisms
  • Thomas Bartlemew was christened 15 December 1548 Note that the baptism of Thomas is significant to us as it is the first in the book and the name Thomas is written is large, fancy letters, but baptisms had been held at Ash Parish Church since it was built in the 1100’s. Surrey History Centre; Thomas was the younger son of the influential John Bartholomew ~ Yeoman of Frimley; Thomas settled on a farm in Aldershot where he died in January 1605. In his Will, he left the farm to his son John, and £100 each to his 2 daughters.
  • William Cockes was christened 6 January 1549
  • Margret Mylton was christened 7 January 1549
  • Annis Shorter was christened 18 January 1549
  • Tomsyn Hytchcock was christened the same day
  • Steven Monger was christened 26 February 1549
  • Mabyll Monger was christened 4 March 1549

Inclusion of Names of Father: It was not until 1580 that the inclusion of the name of the father became standard in this Register. Prior to that only certain fathers were listed which may reflect the social standing of that family. For example, when the Rector’s daughter was baptized in 1552, the record includes ‘daughter of George Stoughton of Ash’. Five prominent Ash families with records in other sources (such as wills) were the Moone, Bartholomew, Bristow, Gates, and Mellish families.

  • George Monne the son of Eustace Moone was christened 13 July 1562
  • Margaret Gates the daughter of Richard Gates was christened 14 January 1579/8
  • John Bartlemewe the son of John Bartlemewe was christened 21 January 1579/8
  • Edythe Bristowe daughter of Henry Bristowe was christened 21 April 1579
  • Annis Mellis daughter of Solomon Mellis was christened 4 October 1579

Once the inclusion of the baby’s father’s name became standard, more information appears, especially if the father was someone important in the eyes of the community.

  • Francis Brown daughter of Sir Henry Brown baptized 17 (xvij) September Anno Domino 1608

What about the Mother’s Name? The entire Register has only two records which mentions the mother.

  • Edmonde son of John Spaccheside and his wife was baptised 11 March 1570

Samuel the son of – – – – – – – – – and Agnes Cobet was baptized 25 February 1631/2

Records after 1580 where lack of father’s name had a specific meaning:

  • John Collier was christened 11 June 1589 bb
  • (Henry Syger the son of Thomas Syger was christened 20 June 1589)
  • Thomas Juer was christened 21 June 1589 bb
  • Margaret Webb was christened 5 July 1589 bb
  • bb = base born

Twins: Only three sets of twins were baptized between 1547 and 1652 at Ash:

  • Ales and Andryan Lylly christened on 1 August 1577 and buried the next day:
  • John and Johan Goring on 25 August 1609
  • Henrie and Richard Strudwick on 7 Jul 1633

Frimley Babies: Numerous Frimley babies were baptized at Ash:

  • Jane Wye the daughter of Thomas Wye of Frimley (Frymley) was christened 15 April 1570                                                      
  • John Shorter the son of Thomas Shorter of Frimley was christened 29 April 1570

Worplesdon Babies: As the community of Wyke was much closer to Ash Parish Church that its own church in Worplesdon, some 35 baptisms of Worplesdon babies between 1547 and 1653 were recorded:

  • Joanne the daughter of George Bicknall of Worplesdon was baptized 15 March 1640
  • Elizabeth Loveland the daughter of Henrie Loveland of Worplesdon was baptized 2 June 1640

Other Places:

  • Susan daughter of John Bridges of ‘Aldermaston in Glostershire’ baptized 2 Nov 1628
  • John Cox son of John Cox of Hartley Wintney baptized 14 May 1643
  • Marie Westbrooke daughter of John Westbrooke of Aldershot baptized 23 March 1644
  • Elizabeth daughter of Richard Cooper of Binstead baptized 20 May 1650

The Last Baptisms in the Register

  • Henrie the son of Henrie Heather was baptized 22 April 1653
  • Mathew Nowell son of Thomas Nowell was baptized 1 May 1653
  • Rowland West son of Rowland West was baptized 26 June 1653
  • Edward Peator son of Edward Peator of Worplesdon was baptized 24 July 1653
  • Susann the daughter of Thomas Kerbey was baptized 14 August 1653
  • Henrie Dimes son of Ric(hard) Dimes was baptized 13 November 1653

After November 1653, the first Ash Parish Register was retired to the Church Chest and the Protectorate Parliament under Oliver Cromwell ordered that a secular register be kept recording the birth of children in the parish.

Select Sources

sheilacreighton21@gmail.com
  • Surrey History Centre; Woking, Surrey, England; Surrey Church of England Parish Registers; Reference: ALDM/1/1
  • Surrey Wills at https://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk