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Understanding and Using Baptismal Records

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1887609104
ISBN-10: 1887609105
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Editorial Reviews

Genealogists researching American families face the prospect of working with a variety of baptismal records, all of which have different meaning and carry different implications. To fully exploit the information that is available in various baptismal records, family historians must know what lies behind them. Understanding And Using Baptismal Records helps to provide the means toward obtaining that knowledge. This invaluable research tool explores baptismal beliefs and practices of the various religious denominations that established churches in colonial America. In addition, reasons are explained why genealogists experience difficulty finding some early records and provides both research hints and solutions to some of the mysteries behind problematic baptismal records.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: John T Humphrey (July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887609105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887609104
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mark Howells on September 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is what all great genealogical books aspire to be. If I ever learn to write, I'd like to be able to write like John Humphrey.
Masterfully weaving a combination of history, theology, and a thorough knowledge of the extant records, the author creates a tapestry of knowledge for the researcher confronting baptismal records.
While focused in early Pennsylvania before and during the Revolutionary war, that Commonwealth's great flowering of religious freedom allowed many differing denominations to exist side by side. For this reason, the book is not just about Pennsylvania baptisms, but about the baptismal practices, record keeping traditions, and limitations of baptismal records for all the major denominations which found their way to America's shores in this period.
Did your Catholics or Lutherans come over later? This book will still help you understand what might be in their local parish registers - both in the Old Country and here in America. And why don't the Quaker's baptize?
I could go on with more examples of why this book is outstanding. Suffice it to say that in my personal research, this book helped me to better understand why the baptism records were made the way they were.
I particularly enjoyed this book's coverage of the problems faced by parents out on the early frontier when they had an infant to be baptized. The paucity of clergy and the rarity of paper books goes a long way towards explaining the problems you'll encounter when searching for a pioneer baptism.
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By Bonnie on August 4, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well-researched book and important for anyone doing genealogy research, either here in the U.S. or in Europe.
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