Neal relations at Cuckoos Cup, The Wrekin

Wanted: a font of knowledge Or knowledge of a font

Great gran Amelia doesn’t like making it too easy finding the records of her early days. Not content with her birth certificate being elusive due to a stray H in the surname (recorded as ‘Hosborne’, see image below), the baptism record is proving hard to find too.

There is an obvious place to look. Ancestry recently threw up a hint for her younger sister Ellen’s baptism, in April 1880 at Bournemouth’s St Clements, the church one closest to the family home in Princess Road {1, 2}.

It’s clearly worth checking for any further parish records from the few years that the Osbornes were there, before they moved to Tonypandy, where they remained {3}.

Disappointing but not too surprising that Amelia’s baptism didn’t show up in the initial search. Rather than trying different search options, tabbing through parish record images on Ancestry can work well and is quicker (unless the church is particularly popular). Starting at Ellen’s entry, and work backwards until August 1878, Amelia’s birth month: No sign!

Instead, the search reveals that her two older sisters Margaret Anne (Annie) and Rosina, both born in Wales, are baptised on 17th November 1878, almost exactly 3 months after Amelia is born.

That raises a few questions, such as:

  • Why didn’t the older sisters’ baptisms happen nearer the time in Bargoed?
  • Perhaps Amelia could have been ill enough not to make it to the font that day?
  • Or could the vicar have indeed baptised Amelia along with her sisters but failed to log it for some reason? Three children proving too much of a handful maybe, although it wasn’t that uncommon for ‘batched’ baptisms (presumably to save money).

The only other place that is likely to be worth checking for this missing baptism is to look alongside one (or more) of the five further siblings born after the return to Wales. It is quite possible that the family became chapel rather than church goers, which could make the records harder to find online. Not yet spotted on Ancestry at least. Sightings or suggestions welcome!


  1. Princess Road no longer exists, with Cleveland Road taking its place. St Clements is directly opposite the end this road. The church was built 1871/73, just a few years before the family arrived. See Historic England info.
  2. This hint was thanks to Hampshire parish records being added to the site’s database. And yes, the town used to be in that county, not the current Dorset.
  3. See Bournemouth page.



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