How To Get a Baptismal Certificate

Photo of baby's baptism

Once your child has been baptized (or you have), you may desire to get a baptismal certificate for historical or memory purposes. This article discusses several options below that will help you get started in requesting and finding this document.

The first place to start when attempting to locate your baptismal certificate, is the original church where you were baptized. The church should have records of the baptism and be able to make you a copy or give you an original either for free or for a small fee. In order to make it easier for them to locate the certificate or records, it is wise to provide the church secretary with the following information: your full name as it would appear on the certificate, your birth date, the date of the baptism and, if known, the name of the priest or minister who officiated at the ceremony. If you are unsure of the church's name or location, check with your parents, guardians, or any close family members who might remember or have that information.

Family can also be a great source for helping you locate your certificate. It is the practice of many families to insert the baptismal certificate in a family bible for safekeeping. If your family does not keep baptismal certificates, a family member may have recorded the essential information in the bible or in another location.  At the very least, this would provide you with a starting point as you try to find out where you could go to request a copy. You might have to do some digging or searching if the bible has been passed around the family since you were baptized.

If you are unable to locate the name of the exact church where you were baptised, you can begin narrowing down your possibilities by brainstorming the denomination in which you would have most likely been baptized. This becomes a matter of taking one church at a time, once you have narrowed the field, to check for the certificate. People who are Catholic, Lutheran or of other denominations with centralized dioceses or centers that keep detailed information for their areas can simply go to the main offices in the appropriate city and ask for assistance in locating the certificate.

It can be a challenge to locate your baptismal certificate if information is missing or forgotten, but these suggestions should give you a good start in locating this part of your history.


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