I'm searching for the baptism on my ancestor Mary Darby, who was born between 1811 and 1818, and am trying to assess whether I should search in non-conformist records as well as Parish/Established Church register.
[I note that I am making an assumption that she was baptised at all, but that's a subject for a different question.]
The range of birth dates is based on:
- her marriage date in 1834 (assuming she was at least 16 and probably 18 or over);
- the 1841 census (her age was given as 25, but may have been rounded down from at most 29);
- her death in 1847 (her age was given as 34).
I know the place of her marriage (the Parish Church in Halesowen in Worcester); however in 1834, she would not have been able to marry in a non-conformist church, so this tells me nothing about her religious practices. The marriage was by Banns, which again tells me little -- some non-conformists preferred to marry by licence, by banns was cheaper. Both participants were noted as being 'Of This Parish'.
I know that a least one of her daughters was baptised in the Church of England as a child; and another daughter had several children baptised ditto. Her husband was also baptised in the Church of England.
I intend to search for her baptism records in the parishes of Halesowen (where she married) and Oldbury (where she lived between at least 1836 until her death in 1847; and also the adjacent parishes (identified using information from GENUKI). I anticipate that this will throw up a number of candidates to investigate and eliminate (or not). I can access online or PDF transcriptions of all the relevant PRs for the period in question (from what I judge to be reliable sources). However, non-conformist records are harder to find and there were a number of non-conformist chapels in the search area at the time. Some records will only be available at a physical archives; some will not be accessible at all.
With the information I have, can I confidently exclude the possibility that she came form a non-conformist family? If not, what steps if any can I take to determine this (other than searching the records of 2 dozen or more chapels?)