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Transcribed by Kay & John Collins 2006
Old Baptist Church
"Top Meeting"

Inside the old Church in the 1800s

Introduction to the Transcripts of the Old Record Book

The extracts taken from the Old Baptist Book are varied. A list of the full contents of the book has the items transcribed here marked "T" and all statistics gathered onto one page.

The Church Covenant was first written into the book in 1735 and was repeated several times, with adjustments made, in 1749, 1768, 1802 and 1839. The Church Covenant (starting on page 264) is followed by a list dated 1839 when all the existing members were asked to sign* or make their mark in the book. (p273) [*In some cases it has been hard to decipher but we hope we have made the right choices!]

There are several lists of members and many of these entries have comments and date of death added. Each list starts with the existing members at that date with new members added as they joined. A later list dated 1879 gives some baptisms or if they transferred here from another town or came to the Church with a letter of introduction. (p 394) The page format changes several times. Our page headings give the year each list was begun. Most place names and forenames have been modernised and expanded if contracted but all surnames are spelt as in the original document. The Covenants are transcribed as spelt in the original.

Baptism * comment by editors
Letter illegible
Mark --- blank
by profession [ ] unsure

The Church Book contains several smaller book which were bound together. The binding must have been done sometime after 1826 as the purchase of a new book at that date is recorded within. When this binding was done, the original stitching was left in tact so some pages don't lay flat and a few dates are lost in the spine. The earliest part of the book has numbers written on the tops of the pages, but as the whole book was later numbered again in pencil at the foot of each page, we have used these for the transcript.

Some Church Accounts for 1783-1804 are also included, with several lists of collections. This delightful little book is invaluable as it contains several lists of members, the list being redrawn after each new Covenant, and the list for 1839 is the signatures of all who could write, with all others making their mark. Some of the lists give give their date of joining the Church and have notesadded during the ensuing years to record dimissions to other Churches, exclusions and deaths. Members who became deacons are noted and some dates of death are also recorded.

By kind permission of the Reverend Martin Thorne


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