I have here two Austrian Catholic baptism record from 1883 and 1893 with numerous dates scribbled at the side or at the bottom of the record:

Side notes in parish record

Dates at the bottom of the record

What do these dates denote? Maybe whenever a birth/baptism certificate was issued?

  • It would be useful for this non-Catholic, if any answer mentioned the possibilities. For instance, was proof of baptism (presumably into the RC church?) necessary under certain circumstances? I think that this is within the scope of the original question but tell me if it's felt not to be.
    – AdrianB38
    Jul 11, 2020 at 7:55
  • Your guess of certificate/extract dates seems the most likely to me. It's a well-annotated record, with at least two name changes, so the person probably had some bureaucratic hassles to deal with over the years.
    – JPmiaou
    Jul 14, 2020 at 17:51
  • 2
    For Adrian's question about the motivation for extracts/certificates: Austria didn't start civil registration until the 1930s. A church baptismal certificate was an official government document.
    – JPmiaou
    Jul 14, 2020 at 17:55
  • @JPmiaou Maybe, though those name changes were in 1884 and 1916, and the dates point to 1934, 1937, and 1946 so it could be that it was more motivated by historical records, the person in question could have been assumed to be a half-Jew according to the Nuremberg laws.
    – phk
    Jul 15, 2020 at 6:42
  • 1
    @AdrianB38 Concerning proof of baptism, the Jewish birth record of the second person (familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-8BKB-8PY?i=56, entry #4545) also has dates scribbled on the sides (left and right) so that would not apply there.
    – phk
    Jul 15, 2020 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


Is there a column heading or is this in a page margin?

Typically printed baptismal records had extra columns for confirmations, and for comments. I've also seen vaccination records, emigration notes, parish transfers, death dates, etc. in the comments fields. (Marriage and burial records can also include a number of interesting details in the comments column).

It is probable from the format of the numbers, that some of the combinations are actually reference numbers to other records or correspondence to the parish.

  • This is a page margin, see (Gustav): data.matricula-online.eu/de/oesterreich/wien/… It looks to me like dates, e.g. 1946 could be when a new certificate had to be issued because the old one got lost because of the war. But I am just guessing here as well. There are also a lot of references in this record but there they are clearly mentioned as such.
    – phk
    Jul 11, 2020 at 15:02

One usage is apparently to note whenever a copy transcript was made, I found entries where it stated that a baptism certificate was made (often happened before a marriage).

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