My 5th great grandparents William Sellick/Selleck and his wife Alice had children baptised at Stogumber, Somerset, England in 1744, 1747, 1749, 1752, 1755, 1757, 1759 and 1762.

I have not found a candidate marriage for them in any surrounding parishes and there appears to be a large gap in the Stogumber Register with no marriage records from 1742 through to 1749. There are no Bishop's Transcripts for this period either - see http://www.wsom.org.uk/Registers/StogMar17171754.htm.

William had been baptised at Monksilver on 2 Oct 1718 but his parents (Robert and Joan) were described as being of Stogumber.

My theory is that Alice may have come from Stogumber and been born around 1721, so I have looked for any babies named Alice baptised there around that time.

There are none but I did find one interesting 1720 baptism which I cannot yet rule out as being her.

In the image below from the Stogumber parish register via:

Ancestry.com. Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531-1812 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Original data: Anglican Parish Registers. Somerset Archives & Local Studies, South West Heritage Trust, Taunton, England.

it seems to say:

July ye 24th a girl ye livith with Stephen Duddbridge called Elizabeth

Irrespective of whether there is any chance that this baby is my ancestor, I have not come across the wording used before.

What might it mean? My best guess is that a man named Stephen Duddbridge presented a girl and asked for her to be baptised as Elizabeth. I am assuming the girl was a baby but perhaps she was older.

enter image description here

As a postscript to this question, using Ancestry.com, I may have found an Allice baptised at Stogumber who appears to be a candidate for my 5th great grandmother in the Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531-1812:

Name:   Allice Bicknell
Event Type: Baptism
Baptism Date:   10 Oct 1718
Baptism Place:  Stogumber, Somerset, England
Father: Thomas Bicknell
Mother: Julian Bicknell
  • 3
    It suggests to me that she might be informally adopted (there was no formal adoption at that time) -- and/or that she was ill at the time and needed to be baptised urgently for the sake of her soul even if her parents were not present.
    – user6485
    Oct 28, 2017 at 12:05
  • 2
    Or a servant girl, discovered to be in need of salvation?? Curious, in that case, that there's no family name.
    – AdrianB38
    Oct 28, 2017 at 16:51
  • @ColeValleyGirl do you think I can rule this out as being the baptism of a baby and be confident that it is the baptism of a girl named Elizabeth (and not Alice)?
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 28, 2017 at 22:40
  • 1
    Definitely Elizabeth, not Alice. Hugely unlikely to be a baby or infant (never sure what the difference is there), given the use of "girl". Not that I'm putting money on it!
    – AdrianB38
    Oct 28, 2017 at 22:51
  • 1
    Yes, definitely Elizabeth, and not a baby.
    – user6485
    Oct 29, 2017 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


The "y" is actually a thorn, so the text seems to read:

July the 24th a girl that liveth with Stephen Dudderidge called Elizabeth.

It is an unusual form of words though.

  • 3
    I'd agree that the superscript letter is a "t" so it's an abbreviated "that".
    – AdrianB38
    Oct 28, 2017 at 16:49
  • Are you thinking that describing her as a girl indicates that this is not a baby being baptised?
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 28, 2017 at 22:36
  • 1
    I was aware of the thorn when used with "ye" but not when used with "yt" as that - thanks!
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 28, 2017 at 22:38
  • @PolyGeo It was certainly not unusual for older children to be baptised, but I've not seen that particular form of words before. Oct 28, 2017 at 22:57

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