Both the British government and the church had an interest in record keeping, and a 1538 act of Parliament required ministers in the Church of England to record baptisms, marriages, and burials. Confirmations, another church rite, have also been recorded, and the confirmation registers from parishes in Somerset make up this database.
Over time, what is now called confirmation in the Church of England became a separate rite from baptism, as a bishop needed to perform the confirmations, and bishops could not attend all baptisms. Confirmation now usually comes later in life and affirms one’s commitment to the Christian life represented by baptism. Thus, most of the people named in these registers are teenagers and young adults.
About the Records
Confirmation records may include
- Confirmation date
- Estimated birth year
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