Baja California Baptisms
The Spanish Word for baptism is bautismo.
For centuries, baptism has been a fundamental staple of religion. In earlier centuries an infant was typically baptized at birth or a few days after being born. In more modern times the gap between the birth and the baptism of an infant has broadened and may be weeks or months later. When the infant was baptized, the priest created a record of the event. Baptismal records are found among the sacramental parish books kept by the priest. These books may still be housed in the parish church or in an archive under the jurisdiction of the diocese or archdiocese. Many of these records have been microfilmed and/or digitized for viewing online.
Use baptismal records to:
- Find birth information for most persons who lived in Spain.
- Verify the birth place of an ancestor.
- Establish a time and place of a family’s residence.
If you don’t find your ancestor’s birth record in one parish, look in nearby or other likely parishes. You may also want to expand the years searched in the event that the birth year you have or were given is incorrect.
Baptism and birth information are usually on the same record. Before civil registration began it was also the birth record of the child.
Baptism records usually contain the following information:
- Infant’s place and date of baptism
- Age at time of baptism, usually given in days, which helps determine the birth date.
- Child’s names
- Status of legitimacy
- Parents’ names and possibly their birth places and places of residence
- Godparents’ names and possibly their places of residence
- You might also find the names of grandparents.
- Most children were baptized within a few days of birth but don’t give up after a few days as on rare occasions they might have waited several months.
- Write down the names and residences of the godparents and witnesses. These may be relatives, friends, or important members of the community whose names may lead you to other relatives.
Before you begin
Before searching for a baptism record, you must know:
- Your ancestor’s name
- The parish and town/city of birth or residence
- The approximate birth date
- The names of at least one parent Note: If there is more than one person in the parish with the same name as your ancestor, parents’ names will help you to determine which one is your ancestor.
To learn more about locating Spain Catholic Church Records Please see the article Finding Records
Church Records Online
Normally the parish registers are found in the parishes that created the records. But sometimes that's not the case. For example, in the city of Santa Maria Cohetzala, Cohetzala, Puebla, Mexico is a parish, but the records are not found there. In fact, the records are in the parish of San Juan Bautista, Pilcaya, Puebla, Mexico which is located approximately 15 miles away. So, one cannot be sure of where records will be found, investigate the surrounding area around the parish. Sometimes you can find additional information in the Diocese or Archdiocese that the parish belongs to. Since information was usually sent to those places.
Records may also be located in the civil records and or local archives, municipal, state, or national. Although it is rare to find church records at these sites, it occurs often enough to need mentioning. But usually records are found in ecclesiastical institutions.
Sometimes records are in the hands of collectors who reside both in Mexico and abroad. Unfortunately, when this is the case, they are not easily located and difficult to access them.
How to view them
Many of the basic church records for Mexico genealogy has been microfilmed and scanned by the "Genealogical Society of Utah" (Sociedad Genealogica de Utah) and FamilySearch. These records are becoming more accessible as some of them are put online. Through the internet you can view images, (a digital copy of the record) from any electronic device (which has internet access) anywhere in the world. The microfilms not yet available online can be accessed in over 4,700 family history centers around the world. It is worth mentioning that there are other companies that are also making information in records more accessible.
Available on FamilySearch
You can search for ancestors by name in the FamilySearch indexed collections by clicking here.
To find a family history center near you, click here.
There are also books at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. click here. You could check for a copy of them in a public library near you.
For other types of searches do recommend that you read the instructions to find information in the Catalog of the Family History Library by clicking here.
State by state, these are the parish records available to view online at FamilySearch