The explanation is given by Mark Herber in his great book Ancestral Trails.
From his pages relating to Baptisms:
"Baptisms should have taken place in church, but private baptisms were
sometimes pemitted at the parents' home or elsewhere, usually if a child was
too ill to be brought to church. If a child was privately baptised, he or
she should have been "received" or "admitted" into the church by a
ceremony, the date of which may be noted in the register (usually in a
In one of my own families we have a child who was "received " into the
Withycombe Raleigh church in 1775 on the same day as his younger brother was
baptised and because he was "received" and not baptised, I knew he had to
have had a baptism someplace but where? It was many years before a New
Zealand correspondent told me of a 1772 baptism he had found for him in a
London church. So the moral of this story is that if you see the words
"received" or "admitted" then you must look for the original baptism
I stand to be corrected but it is my understanding that once you have been
baptised there can be no second baptism and the child can only be "received"
or "admitted" into the church once he/she is well enough to be taken there.
Harris in Toronto, Ontario
P.S. I think this subject has come up previously and a check of the DevonL
Archives may find other messages relating to it.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Churchill" <churchil(a)att.net
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2011 10:44
Subject: Re: [DEV] DEVON Digest, Vol 6, Issue 120
Hard to say but it may be that upon birth the baby was not expected to
survive. In that circumstance it could have been Baptized by a Midwife or
Layperson if necessary. Upon survival it might then be re-baptized by
Clergy upon admission to the Church. But if a Clergy rather than
performed the initial Baptism and recorded the event the baptism was
and no later Baptism upon the baby's survival would have been necessary.
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 13:52:21 -0300
From: "Pamela" <pamelah(a)northrock.bm
[DEV] MEANING OF ADMITTED TO CHURCH - ANN KING OF MODBURY
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Why was a baby "admitted to the church" several months after baptism?
That baptism was private, connoting the baby was not expected to live -
was this considered a lesser ceremony?
The Modbury parish register notes in full: Ann KING, daughter of Roger and
Eleanor, was privately baptised 8th November 1786 and admitted into the
church 5th January 1787.
Ann lived to marry Philip LANG of Ugborough (my line).
Be great if someone can explain this
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