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St. Mary's Seminary & University

Foreign Citizenship Document Requests

This resource has been prepared to assist individuals applying for foreign or dual citizenship. It provides information on the services the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore* can provide to assist in the application process (e.g., issuance of official copies of sacramental certificates and assistance in locating the church of record), as well as instructions on how to submit a request and the fees for providing these services.

*: Please note that the Archdiocese of Baltimore (est. 1789) maintains only the sacramental registers for churches within its current boundaries, which is compromised of the following Maryland counties: Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, and Washington. Individuals in need of sacramental records from churches outside the current boundaries of the Archdiocese of Baltimore will need to contact the diocese responsible for that territory for assistance.

Access to Sacramental Records

To protect the privacy of individuals named in the records, the Archbishop of Baltimore has approved the following policy:

Baptism: Records less than 100 years old are closed to the public. Records more than 100 years old are open to the public without restriction.

Marriage: Record less than 50 years old are closed to the public. Records more than 50 years old are open to the public without restriction.

Who Can Access Closed Sacramental Records?

Individuals who have legal access to closed registers include:

Baptism: A copy of the official death certificate and proof of relationship (ex., a published obituary that lists surviving family members.)

Marriage: Copies of death certificates for both parties and proof of relationship to one of the principal parties named in the record (ex., a published obituary that lists surviving family members).

How to Request an Official Copy of a Sacramental Record

Submit a complete Foreign Citizenship Records Request Form. (One name per form.) Please keep in mind that a centralized index of names for persons that have received sacraments in the Archdiocese of Baltimore does not exist. Records must be searched by parish, year, and sacrament.

Foreign Citizenship Records Request Form

The following information will be requested:

Complete name(s) of the person(s) named in the record. (Included possible spelling variations.) For baptism, full names are also requested for the mother and the father. For marriage, full names are requested for the bride and groom at the time of sacrament.

  1. Identify sacramental record(s) being requested (e.g., baptism or marriage).
  2. Approximate date(s) of sacrament(s).
  3. Identify ethnic group(s) (ex., German, Irish, Polish) when possible.
  4. Name of town, county, or region of the Archdiocese where the person resided at time of sacrament when possible.
  5. Name of church or officiating priest when possible.

If you are missing some of the requested information:

Documentation required to submit a request for a closed record:

Where Do I Submit a Foreign Citizenship Records Request Form?

Form and required documentation can be submitted to:

For Open Sacramental Records

Church of record. (Contact information can be found on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s webpage.)

For Closed Sacramental Records

Associated Archives at St. Mary’s Seminary & University

Fees for Services

Official Sacramental Certificate: $10

Research Services: $30/hour

Additional Information

Incomplete Requests: Staff will contact the requestor if there are any issues (ex., missing documentation or incomplete information).

Name Printed on Certificate: The name printed on the certificate will appear as recorded in the sacramental register. In some cases, the name might have been Latinized, ex., Johannes for John, or it will be discovered that a person was known by a different name or changed the spelling of a name. We will not change the spelling or enter a new name in the record. 

Authentication: The sacramental certificate issued by a church of the Archdiocese of Baltimore will have a signature and a seal to authenticate it as an official document. The application process for foreign or dual citizenship may also require an apostille+ or public notary signature be affixed to a sacramental certificate. All inquiries regarding this additional form of authentication should be made directly to the foreign consulate processing the application.

+: An apostille is a specific form of authentication that is made by a state’s Secretary of State. If an apostille is required, please contact the appropriate office for assistance. For Maryland, information on the certifications and authentication services the Secretary of State’s Office provides can be found on its webpage.