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Daabstattest - Birth Certificate, Baptismal Certificate or both

I was born in Denmark in 1946. My parents were Polish refugees who stayed at a refugee camp in Denmark until they settled in Canada where I grew up. I met and married a woman of Maltese descent in Canada. Several years ago we moved to Malta for our retirement. My wife, although she was born in Canada, was granted automatic Maltese citizenship because her parents were born in Malta. Since I was married to a Maltese citizen I was able to apply for Maltese citizenship. Now here is my problem.

My parents (who have passed away, bless their souls) told me that they had lost my birth certificate but had a baptismal certificate. Whenever I was asked to show my birth certificate I would show my baptismal certificate with the explanation that I had no birth certificate, my parents did not have a birth certificate for me and that it was impossible to get a birth certificate. Although the document is printed in Danish and German all the details of my birth and baptism are there so it was always accepted in Canada as valid identification.

When I moved to Malta the government also accepted my baptismal certificate as a valid form of identification but they wanted an English translation. I had the document translated by a professional government approved translator. She is of German descent but fluent in several languages. She translated the "Daabstattest" as "Baptismal Certificate"

The Maltese government accepted my application for citizenship but they claim they need to have a copy of my birth certificate, not my baptismal certificate to register me as a citizen. So I started an online search to find out how I can get a new copy of my birth certificate. I found out that in Denmark all births and baptisms are not registered with any government agency but instead are registered in the church parish where the event took place.

Finally to my questions. First, were all births and baptisms of all the refugee children recorded in the same church register as the Danish children or were they registered separately? Second, does the Danish word "Daabstattest" mean Birth Certificate, Baptismal Certificate or is it both a Birth and Baptismal Certificate? When I checked an online Danish-English dictionary for the meaning of "daabstattest" it said "birth certificate". Last question: Is it possible to get a new English version of my birth certificate and if it is can you give me an email address of someone to contact? My Daabstattest shows that I was born and baptized in Brondum parish, Ribe county but my web search cannot find a Brondum parish in Ribe county.

Any assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless.

Rudi Jozkow


Dear Rudi,
Thank you for your long interesting mail...
It was almost history telling from the last 75 years.
The short answer will be:
In Denmark all births should be registered in the churck books in the parish, where the mother lived, or at the hospitals church books where the baby was born.
So,you can try to Google: Broendum sogn - in Danish we use the letter "ø" - but "oe" will probably work...
The Word "daabsattest" means baptism certificate, but it is usually both "birth- and baptism certificate, unless you are not baptized.
When you find Broendom parish - then do call the church-office for further help - they should know a bit about the history and registration of Polish refugees...
Good thoughts and God bless...
Signe Voldby, pastor

Svaret af:
Signe Dorthe Voldby

Signe Dorthe Voldby, Præst


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Bibelske citater er gengivet med tilladelse fra Det Danske Bibelselskab fra den autoriserede oversættelse af 1992.

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