How long after an infant's birth would the baptism have occurred in the Catholic church in the 1890s in Mexico? I've found a record of a baptism that may be my grandfather's, but it is almost a year after he was born. This seemed odd to me so I thought I would check. Thoughts?

3 Answers 3


Typically I have found that Catholics in the 1890s (French, German, American, etc.) had their children baptized within the first 4 or 5 weeks, or whenever mom and baby felt recovered/presentable. Some may have waited a bit longer, to coincide with a coming celebration (holiday/wedding). Earlier generations often had baby baptized on the day of birth or within a week.

There are exceptions, of course. A French family I researched lived in an area where they were the only Catholics. They came to town once every five years, and would have all their newest children, ages 5 and under, baptized together.

Also there are cases where a baby is baptized twice. First by a lay person, and later by a priest. A lay person can baptize a baby if there is imminent danger of death, or if a priest or deacon is absent or impeded from administering the sacrament. I presume the French family above baptized their own children soon after birth.

Often when a lay person performed an emergency baptism, there would be no official record, and a second ceremony was performed later (no rush) with a priest. If a priest performed the emergency baptism, they were less likely to have a second ceremony.

I have also seen babies baptized twice on the same day: first in the father's family's parish, and an hour later at the mother's family's parish.


I have done quite a bit of Mexican genealogy on my family line. I would say that yes it is strange to have a baptism 1 year after the birth. I would go back and re-read the records and make sure that they are correct.

  • 1
    Hi user5300, welcome to the site. Would it be possible for you to add some evidence to your answer to back up your claim?
    – Harry V.
    Commented Jul 10, 2016 at 3:28

I am Mexican and we normally baptize our children the first year after they are born or before to celebrate their first birthday along with the baptism. It's very normal, we've done it that way for generationsm speaking from my family. Hope it helps.

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