View Full Version : Godparents and Baptismal Records - how to find out more?

16-09-2008, 11:58 PM
This is for my Aunty Jill who is most upset that she doesn't know who her Godparents are! Mum tells me that according to her experiences of Church (C/E) and her own Baptism certificate, there is no mention of the names of the Godparents so no way of knowing. She was too young to remember her sister's Christening and my Nanny and Grandad have passed away so obviously we can't ask them, sadly. We know the church Aunty Jill was Christened in but thats about it.

Does anyone know if the church in which a Christening took place would have kept a record of the names of the Godparents please?

Barbara Wilkinson
17-09-2008, 12:06 AM
No help to your auntie - but the names of my godparents are on my baptism certificate which came to light when my dad died recently and we cleared out the family home. They are also on my son's baptism certificate! As far as churches keeping a record, I have only seen it once in my own experience of searching parish records and that was in Jersey. However, I am sure someone here may know something .....!

17-09-2008, 12:09 AM
Have you tried contacting the church and asking them? A phone call to the Parish Secretary would probably be a good start, or even to the diocese. The question of whether they retain those records should be easily answered. Perhaps the reason she doesn't know is because she wasn't actually Christened at all.

17-09-2008, 12:26 AM
Thank you. Jill was definately Christened - all 5 of my Nan and Grandad's children were, my Mum is adamant about that and as Nanny was a very Christian lady I am 99.9% sure she's right. Although Mum was given her Baptism certificate before we lost Grandad and she and her siblings inherited and treasure all the family documents etc since we lost my Grandparents no certificate for Jill has come to light.

I will get in touch with the Parish Secretary in the morning to see what I can find out. Dumb blondie here didn't think of that! D'oh!

Thanks again!

Diane Grant-Salmon
17-09-2008, 7:27 AM
One C of E Church which does (or did!) keep a record of the names of Godparents, is St. George's Church, Lupset, Wakefield, Yorkshire! :)

I have photostat copies of the pages for my brother and me ...... all our Godparents are named in a separate column, next to the Vicar's name.

My brother has two Godfathers and one Godmother and I have two Godmothers and one Godfather ....... which I believe was the usual practice?

17-09-2008, 9:46 AM
My wife is christian and wanted our sons christened (It struck me as a bit silly as they were not able to express an opinion, but c'est la vie) - there is no mention of godparents on their certificates and the local church kept no record of the godparents' names, just recording the baptism itself - so presumably recording and finding the information on godparents is rather hit and miss.

Peter Goodey
17-09-2008, 10:38 AM
I've never looked at a recent baptism register and probably never will again but picking a page at random from Medway Archives I see that at least one form of preprinted register included (or includes) provision for godparents' names to be recorded.

http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/query/results/?Mode=ShowImg&Img=/cityark/Scans/Ecclesiastical_Rochester_Archdeaconry_Area_Parishe s/P110_DARTFORD_HOLY_TRINITY_1363_1988/03_Additional_deposit/01_Incumbent_Service_of_the_Church_Registers/01B_Baptism_Registers/DE110_1B_04.html/00000041.jpg

Not that it's of any genealogical significance whatsoever ;)

17-09-2008, 5:07 PM
I have a christening certificate, or rather card. It doesn't mention Godparents or have a space where that information could be entered. I don't know if the church would record their names in the register if they weren't noted on the certficate.

17-09-2008, 5:18 PM
I have the pleasureable duty of recording Baptisms at our RC Parish Church. Names of Godparents (or witnesses ) are always recorded and have been over very many years. As I have access to Baptismal Records, I was asked by a cousin to copy the record of her Baptism. To my surprise I found that my Mother was her Godmother.

17-09-2008, 8:52 PM

A French Huguenot Church in London has the names of the godparents and they were often relatives other than the biological parents. A parent couldnt also act as a Godparent. I have always wondered if Godparents records have been kept for C of E churches. This could break down many brickwalls.

As yet I have never come across any in most Anglican churches but would oike to be told different, ie, for St James, Westminster, London for my 3xgreat grandfathers godparents.