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Joined: 28 Dec 2011
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Post Posted: 6 Days ago at 7:12 am      Post subject: Re: Maćczak Births 1809
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Thank you for the Piaski parish 1809 Maćczak births. Now the second atypical birth record makes much more sense that the "director" of the village administered the baptism out of necessity. In the Pisski parish films available online at familysearch.org, I found only one other baptism with this wording. In other parishes, I have seen the midwife administered the emergency baptism.

Your help is so instructive and appreciated.

Wishing you a Happy Easter, too.


Hi Marilyn,

Perhaps a document I read many years ago may help to explain the rare instances you've encountered where someone other than the midwife baptized a child "in extremis". Although usually the midwife was the most qualified person on hand for such a baptism, there actually existed a preferred order of who should preform the baptism. It all depended on who was present at the time. The first preference was that a priest would do the baptism. If no priest were present, next in line would be someone in Major Orders (first a deacon and next a sub-deacon). After that would be someone in Minor Orders (exorcist, acolyte, lector, porter, in descending order). The next choice would be a tonsured cleric who was not yet in Minor Orders. Next would be a Catholic male who was present and then a Catholic female. Last in the pecking order would be a Non-Catholic male followed by a Non-Catholic female. The Non-Catholics did not have to believe in what they were doing. It sufficed that they intended to do what the Catholic Church does when it baptizes someone.

It would seem that the individual in the records you mentioned took precedence over the midwife because he was a male with certain authority in the village and he happened to be present at the moment the baptism needed to take place.

This makes for an interesting glimpse into village life in 1809.

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