Last name: Baptist

This surname is usually described as being French, but more accurately should be said to be of Ancient Greek or Roman origins. It derives from the word "baptistes", a derivative of "baptein", a Greek word which translates as - to bathe or dip! The surname can itself be described as being "a play on words", in that it commemorates St John, the Baptist, who baptised people by fully immersing them in water, and thereby purifying their souls. The surname is now recorded in many forms, examples of which include Batisse, Bautiste, Baptiste, Battista, Titta, Baptist, Batistelli, Bastistini, Di Batista, and many others. Possibly because of its original association with Southern Europe and the Roman Catholic church, the surname never became popular in the protestant countries of Europe, although often recorded there in small numbers. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic surviving French church registers, most of which were destroyed in the Revolution of 1789 - 1792, include Catharine Bapstin, christened at Illkirch, Bas-Rhin, on April 4th 1783, and Anne Marie Baptiste, christened at Valhey, Meurthe-et-Moselle, on April 16th 1709. The earliest recording is that of Francois Baptiste at the town of Gerbeviller, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, on October 11th 1675. This was during the long reign of King Louis X1V, known as "The Sun King", 1643 - 1715.

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N Nicholson
My mother's family were Baptists, from the North of England. I don't know of any surviving relatives, but there must be someone out there?

A Kernighan
I have just heard that a cousin from my family was called Emma Baptist with children Lenny and Celeste though research has not brought them up at all. I was hoping Emma (nee Exley) was my grandmother's sister who were born and lived in Kirkburton, nr Huddersfield, Yorkshire.

N Nicholson
My mother's family were from Northumberland, the next county up from Yorkshire, so quite possibly some connection with your family in the past. Baptist is not a common name. I haven't heard of the people you mention. My grandfather was John (Jack) Baptist, wife Margaret (Meg), children Mary and John. One day I'll do some research...