This is kind of like my holy grail. I’m a little stunned that I finally located it. Walter was my great-great grandfather. He was born well before the start of compulsory civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths, so I really didn’t think I’d find any documentation that would pin down his birth date. True, this is just an entry in the baptismal register, but it means that my previous best guess for his birth (1845) was slightly off. He would have been baptized soon after birth, so this puts his birth date firmly in 1846.
The funny thing is that, as I was going through the register for 1845, the year I thought he was born, I encountered pages with such faded writing that at first I thought they were blank. No amount of adjusting contrast or even inverting the values could have made them legible. When I got to the end of 1845 without finding Walter I almost cried, for real, because I thought for sure his entry was lost in those pages.
So frustrating! But now I’m floating on a happy little cloud.