Bridging the Gap pt 2: Abel Bridge

The 1841 and 1851 census showed George to be son of John (1841 census) or Abel (1851 census), though these were clearly the same family.

It seems that my suspicions that George was from a nonconformist family were confirmed. When civil registration was introduced in 1837 nonconformist churches and chapels were 'invited' to submit their records to the government. Sion did so and whilst sadly they only cover the births from 1811-1837 (that heartsinking moment when reading the answer to the question 'do you have any further records' - 'No'!) that does include the timespan of John/Abel's children.

The first five children (John, Mary, Elizabeth, Ann and George, b 1824) don't appear on the register despite having been born between ~1816 and 1824 but the next six (Alice, Jane, Abel, Sarah, Ellen and Robert) are listed with birthdates between 1827 and 1837. The last child, James, was born after civil registration and so would not be on the submitted document for obvious reasons!

One obvious possibility is that the Bridges were not Baptists at the time of George's birth in 1824 but had become so by 1827 and the birth of Alice. If that is true then wherever the earlier children were baptised, if anywhere, does not appear to have been St Nicholas the local parish church in Newchurch.