© Copyright Alexander P Kapp and
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In 1837 the registers of Bamford Chapel, along with Registers from numerous other chapels, were sent 'to the commissioners for inquiring into the State, Custody and Authenticity of Non-parochial Registers'. The two registers, one containing Baptisms and the other Burials, are now in the Public Record Office. They contain information on 367 baptisms and 159 burials upto the end of 1836. According to a register at Bamford Chapel a copy of the Baptisms and Burials upto 30 Jun 1837 were sent subsequently but there do not seem to have survived. A single additional baptism in 1838 is, however, noted in a separate letter sent later. Civil Registration started on 1 Jul 1837 formalising the recording of births and deaths.
With the Registers is a questionaire filled in by Thomas Jackson, Minister of Bamford Chapel. He states that the Chapel was of the Independent denomination founded about the year 1801. The Deacons are said to be Robert Ashworth and Robert Porter. The questionaire is dated 5 Jan 1837.
The Register of Baptisms includes entries from 1800 but the Burial Register was not started until 1826. It is clear from gravestones at the Chapel that there were burials prior to this date, indeed from soon after the Chapel was built. There is therefore no record of these early Burials except on the gravestones.
One peculiar feature of the Registers is that there are numerous occasions where the entries do not appear in strict chronological order. This indicates that the registers were filled in some time after the baptism or burial. The baptisms are recorded in a variety of ways but in the following I have used a uniform style throughout. The year of birth is not given if it is within a year of the baptism. Where the mother's maiden name is given this is recorded in brackets. The numbering of the baptisms is my own and does not appear in the register.
Most of Bamford was in the Township of Birtle cum Bamford in the Parish of Middleton. However the Chapel itself was just to the west of the village and was in the Township of Heap in the Parish of Bury. The Chapel is now a United Reformed Church.
The P.R.O. references of the Registers are: RG4/2429 for the Baptisms and RG4/2168 for the Burials