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Prince Edward Island Baptismal Index

How to Search the Baptismal Registry


Searching the Prince Edward Island Baptismal Index

To maintain the integrity of the information in the Prince Edward Island Baptismal Index, the data has been entered as it appears on the index cards housed at the Public Archives and Records Office. Therefore, the spelling of names of people, places, and churches may not be accurate by todayís standards. If a particular baptismal reference comes into question, many of the original church records may be viewed on microfilm at the Public Archives and Records Office.

Users may search the Prince Edward Island Baptismal Index in several ways; how you search the database depends on what information you already have concerning a particular individual. You may choose from the following search options:

Childís Name and Date Search: This type of search will allow you to enter a childís surname, given name, and possible year of birth/baptism. Although the card index housed at the Public Archives and Records Office of PEI allows for the entry of both the birth and baptismal years, the clergymen did not always write down the childís birth date and occasionally wrote down the childís age in terms of days, weeks, or months. Usually the baptism falls within a year of childís birth although you might find an entry which indicates that the individual being baptised was an adult. Because of these variations in data entry on the part of the clergymen, both the birth and baptismal years are searched.

Childís Name and Place of Birth/Baptism: This search will allow you to enter the childís surname, given name, and place of birth or baptism. Because clergymen did not always indicate place of birth, or the childís place of residence which was not necessarily the same as place of birth, in the actual church records, the index does not always provide this information. Therefore, both the "Place of Birth" and "Place of Baptism" fields are searched. The place of baptism is often indicated in the index although, if it is not, one can usually discern this by determining the location of the church mentioned in the record. In cases where the place of birth or residence is not given, one can usually assume the child was living in close vicinity to the church in which the baptism took place.

Fatherís Name Search: This function will allow you to refine your search for a baptismal record if you know not only the childís name but also the fatherís name. Enter both the childís given name and surname as well as the fatherís given name and surname. You may leave the fatherís surname blank if you question whether or not it is the same as the childís.

Motherís Name Search: This function will allow you to refine your search for a baptismal record if you know not only the childís name but also the motherís name. Enter both the childís given name and surname as well as the motherís given name and maiden name. You may leave the motherís maiden name blank if you are uncertain what it is.

Parentís Name Search: If you know the names of a couple and wish to determine what children they had, you may use this search. Enter the surnames and given names of the father and the mother. If you do not know the maiden name of the mother, leave the field blank. DO NOT enter the motherís married name in this field.

**Please remember that when searching any names whether given or surname for the child, mother or father, try any variations of spellings, nicknames, or in the case of given names, second or third possible names. Spelling was not standardized in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Therefore, ministers and priests often wrote names the way they believed the names were spelled which was not necessarily in accordance with the family. Also, clergymen often abbreviated names, given names in particular. Click here for a list of examples of common abbreviations and nicknames of given names.

How to read the results of a search
The results of a search in the Prince Edward Island Baptismal Index will indicate the number of hits and produce a list of possible entries which meet the criteria you have specified. The results will appear in list of 20 possible baptismal records, with the option to view all hits. The results are sorted by the name of the child and then by year of baptism.

The following fields are displayed in the results list:

Childís Full Name
Birth Date
Baptism Date
Motherís name
Fatherís name
Birth Place
Baptism Place

By clicking on one of the names of the children in the result list, you will be taken to a new web page, entitled "Individual Results", which provides more detailed information about that particular childís baptism. This page will provide information from the above mentioned fields as well as the Officiating Clergy, Church Name, Church Location, Record Book Number, Record Book Page, Entry Number (which is sometimes given in lieu of a page number), and any Notes which pertain to the entry. This Notes field often contains information from the index cards which does not apply to any of the standard fields on the cards. Examples include such terms as: "illegitimate"; "adult"; "Twin of Jane Doe"; "Fatherís name unknown" etc.

If you wish to obtain a microfilm print copy of a particular childís baptismal record form the actual church records you may do so from the Individual Results page.

Please note that not all records can be traced back to the original church record and therefore copies of originals are not possible in all cases. Please also note that PARO cannot provide copies of post-1900 Roman Catholic records.


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