An Introduction to Birth and Baptism Records

What is a birth/baptism record?

A baptism record is any type of record that states the date and place an individual was baptised into a church.

A birth record is any type of record or certificate that states the date and place an individual was born.

You can view more infomation on birth records and baptism records on this website.

What information can I find in a birth/baptism record?

The information found in a record depends on the date of the record. Our pages on birth records and baptism records can tell you more.

You can also order a birth certificate, which can tell you more information about a birth - there is a case study on the website that will show you how to get the information you need to order a certifcate, as well as showing you how to search the records.

How would I use a birth/baptism record to help me with my research?

You may want to know:

  • An ancestor's birth/baptism date
  • The name of a preceding generation
  • A family's place of residence
  • Clues to family relationships
  • Children who died young
  • Parents of the child

Where can I find a birth/baptism record for one of my ancestors?

For records starting in the 1500's, Parish Records is the place to look - these are available on CD-ROM and online. These records can go all the way up to the late 1800's. Birth records and indexes are available online.

For information about other records or for more information about genealogy, there are some links to other useful sources of information included on the site.