Thursday, 19 March 2015

Searching and Retrieving Baptism Records

Most of the baptism records in churches are still found in books. This is because, to a certain extent, books and written text are still necessary to ensure that such important and significant information is not lost should something happen, as required by Canon Law (Can.  877 §1). Data stored on computers could be easily lost in many ways, and not many church parishes have got the proper personnel, funds and equipment to convert written records to computer data, and then maintaining and ensuring proper backups of such data.

Since such baptism records are still found in books, and some parishes have been around for decades or even more than a century, some of these parishes would have several books containing such baptism records. Naturally, this poses quite a problem trying to find a particular record, since so many faithful have been baptised over the years.

If you are looking for your baptism record, you would need to have as much information as you can recall and make available, to be given to the parish office, so that your baptism record may be successfully found. The best option would be if you have an old baptism certificate which you could show to the parish office, since such a baptism certificate would make finding your baptism record so much easier. However, not many of us may have been mindful or careful about preserving our baptism certificate, due to one reason or another. Thus, these are some of the suggested information you would need to provide:
  1. Full name (according to your birth certificate or identity card, whichever available)
  2. Date of birth (actual date of birth as stated on your birth certificate)
  3. Place of birth (Including hospital, clinic, where possible)
  4. Name of parents (Father's and mother's full name)
  5. Date of baptism (if cannot recall, approximate date)
  6. Place of baptism (church or chapel name and location)
  7. Christian Name (in full, not nickname or short form please)
  8. Name of God parent/s
Note that, unless you are willing and able to provide as much information about you as possible, it would be not possible to search and retrieve your baptism records successfully.

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