Baptism records are kept on file at the local church where the event occurred. Unlike other major life events like marriage, birth and death, the government does not require official documentation of baptisms; hence, no public records exist to determine if a baptism took place. However, there are ways to discover this information.
Search among a person's personal papers, if you have access to them. Churches issue baptism certificates, so perhaps you can find one among old records. Few adults baptized as infants have such records, unless their parents preserved them and passed them along. However, it can never hurt to start your search with documents in storage, in an old photo album or stuck in a Bible. Also, the Bible itself may contain the information, because many have front or back pages to record births, marriages, deaths and baptisms.
Check old public records. In some areas, baptismal records were once used in lieu of official birth certificates. Thus, the baptisms of the old or deceased could have been recorded in those historical records. If you know place and year of birth, you may find the baptismal record in old church or local government archives. Some archival information is now available online at genealogical websites.
Locate the baptizing church. If it still exists, and records are available, maybe you could get a private meeting with the priest or pastor to discuss the situation and either gain access to the records or confirmation of your findings.
Observe whether the individual is wearing a cross or crucifix. Some wear them merely as a fashion, but others wear them because they are faithful Christians. When you see someone regularly wearing a cross or crucifix, and that person also attends church services, gladly tithes, says grace and exhibits the fruit of the Spirit, you can reasonably assume the person is baptized.
Be direct and ask. Most Christians are proud to say they’ve been baptized either in their infancy or that they did so of their own volition after accepting Christ as their Savior later in life. Such people are happy to share their experience.
- cross image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com