Baptism Certificates

 

 

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How to Obtain Baptism Certificates

Searching for Baptism Certificates

A Baptism Certificate is a religious document that is given to the family of the Baptized person. Although many different churches perform Baptisms, the ceremonies are similar. Additionally, the Baptism Certificates will also be similar in content.

Baptism is required before an individual can receive any other sacrament. Whenever a new sacrament is received, the Baptism Certificate may be requested as proof that the individual has been baptized. Therefore, it is essential that the individual or his or her parents have a copy of this religious document in their possession.

If you have misplaced the Baptism Certificate, it can be replaced with a new one. Since this document is often requested, it is sometimes temporarily misplaced or permanently lost. It is best to replace the Baptism Certificate as soon as you discover that it is missing, especially since it may take several weeks until you receive a new one.

Typically, all Baptism Certificates contain the following information with some minor variations:
• Full name given to the Baptized person
• Full name of the mother of the person
• Full name of the father of the person
• Full name of the place where the person is baptized, typically a church
• Exact date of the Baptism ceremony
• Full name of the godmother or first sponsor of the person
• Full name of the godfather or the second sponsor of the person

When searching for a Baptism Certificate, the wisest place to begin is the church where the Baptism was performed. All sacramental records are kept with the parish church where the sacrament was celebrated. Therefore, the Baptism Certificate will be located at the church where the Baptism was celebrated. You should contact that church or parish directly with your request.

If the church or parish is no longer in existence, the church that took over the geographical location of the closed church, also takes over the safekeeping of the sacramental records. If you are not sure what the new church or parish would be, you are directed to contact the main office of your faith for the area.

When you make your request to the church, you will need to include all of the following information:
• The full name given at Baptism
• The full name of the individual later in life (for cross referencing if necessary)
• The full name and the maiden name of the individual’s mother
• The full name of the individual’s father
• The name of the church where the Baptism took place
• The year of birth, or at least a close approximation of it
• The place of birth, or at least a close approximation of the location

Although some of this information may not be needed, it is best to provide it at the beginning of the request. In the event that the Baptism Certificate proves difficult to locate, especially if you are unable to make the request directly to the original church, the additional information may prove useful.

If you are searching for the Baptismal Certificate of an ancestor, then the above information will prove absolutely necessary to the success of your search. The more facts that you can provide, the more likely it is that you will locate a copy of the Searching for Baptism Certificate.

Additionally, a good place to begin a search for Baptismal records of ancestors is the family Bible. Although many families no longer cherish these, if your family has one, it is the best place to begin your search.

Although many of the churches do not request a fee for the new Baptism Certificate, some do request a small fee to cover their cost. A small donation is always an acceptable way to thank the church for providing you with a new copy of the Baptism Certificate.

If you were baptized at a U.S. Military base, then most likely your Baptismal record is kept at the Military Archdiocese. It is recommended that you make your request by fax, postal mail, or e-mail. Your request will take two to three weeks to process, but your certificate should reach you by the end of the third week.

To request a Baptism Certificate from the Military Archdiocese:
• Send a fax to 202-269-9022
• Send an e-mail to info@milarch.org
• Send a written request to:
Archdiocese of the Military Services, U.S.A.
415 Michigan Avenue, N.E.
Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20017-1518

For more information on submitting your request, the following phone number is available 202-269-9100, but it cannot be used to actually request a Baptismal Certificate.

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