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Civil Registration

Civil marriage registration for Samuel Tremblay, date private collection

Civil marriage registration for Samuel Tremblay, 29 March 1920, private collection.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the provinces and territories began keeping civil registration of births, marriages and deaths, often called vital statistics. Before that time, births, marriages and deaths were recorded in parish registers.

Today, the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths is a provincial and territorial responsibility. Inquiries concerning access and fees must be addressed to the appropriate office.

As civil registration is not a federal jurisdiction, Library and Archives Canada does not hold the civil registers and does not issue certificates.


Alberta [Back to the menu]

In Alberta, records from 1898 to 1905 are in the custody of the Provincial Archives of Alberta. Transcripts of records can be obtained for a small fee. That office also holds incomplete indexes and registers for the period from 1898 to 1983, which can be viewed onsite.

For certificates from 1906 on, provincial residents should apply at their local Registry Agent. Out-of-province requests can be forwarded to a Registry Agent or directly to:

Alberta Registries
Vital Statistics [www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=section:vitalstatistics], 3rd Floor
PO Box 2023
Edmonton, AB
T5J 4W7

British Columbia [Back to the menu]

In British Columbia, records date from 1872, although those for the earlier years are not complete. There are also some baptismal records as early as 1849. Requests should be directed to the:

British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency [www.vs.gov.bc.ca/]
PO Box 9657, Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, BC
V8W 9P3

Microfilm copies of original birth registration documents (1872-1903), marriage registration documents (1872-1928) and death registration documents (1872-1983) are available for onsite consultation at the British Columbia Archives and through the Family History LibraryTM.

Nominal indexes and digital images to the above records are available online on theBritish Columbia Archives Web site [www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca/textual/governmt/vstats/v_events.htm#indexes].

Manitoba [Back to the menu]

In Manitoba, Vital Statistics [http://web2.gov.mb.ca/cca/vital/index.html], Manitoba Family Services holds birth, marriage and death records from 1882, together with some incomplete church records prior to that date (searched when the denomination is known). Some databases are available on their Web site.

Vital Statistics
Manitoba Family Services
254 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MN
R3C 0B6

The Archives of Manitoba also hold a small collection of church records.

New Brunswick [Back to the menu]

In New Brunswick, birth records from 1888 to 1905, marriage and death records from 1888 to 1950, and some incomplete church and civil records prior to 1888 are in the custody of the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.Some databases are available on their Web site.

Birth records after 1905, and marriage and death records after 1950 are still in the custody of the:

Vital Statistics Office
Health and Community Services
PO Box 6000
Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1

For official certificates of births, marriages and deaths from 1888 to the present, contact the Vital Statistics Office [www.gnb.ca/0051/0379/index-e.asp].

Newfoundland and Labrador [Back to the menu]

In Newfoundland, records date from 1892 and are in the custody of:

Vital Statistics [www.gs.gov.nl.ca/gs/vs/]
Government Service Centre
Department of Government Services and Lands
5 Mews Place
PO Box 8700
St. John's, NL
A1B 4J6

For earlier years, the only source is church records, which are numerous for the period from 1860 to 1891, with a few returns as early as the 1820s. The Maritime History Archive has published Births, Deaths & Marriages in Newfoundland Newspapers, 1810 – 1890 on CD-Rom with more than 40,000 entries for births, deaths and marriages transcribed from 43 Newfoundland newspapers, 1810-1890. Inquiries concerning records prior to 1892 should be addressed to the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Northwest Territories [Back to the menu]

In the Northwest Territories, incomplete records date from 1925. Requests should be addressed to the:

Registrar General of Vital Statistics
Department of Health and Social Services [www.hlthss.gov.nt.ca/]
Bag No. 9
Inuvik, NT
X0E 0T0

Nova Scotia [Back to the menu]

In Nova Scotia, records of births and deaths from October 1, 1908 and of marriages from 1906 to 1918 (depending on the county) are held by:

Vital Statistics [www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/vstat/]
Department of Business and Consumer Services
PO Box 157
Halifax, NS
B3J 2M9

For information about the availability of earlier records, please contact Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management.

Nunavut [Back to the menu]

Births, deaths, adoptions and marriages that occurred on or after April 1, 1999 are registered with Nunavut Vital Statistics:

Registrar General
Vital Statistics
Government of Nunavut
Rankin Inlet, NT
X0C 0G0

Nunavut was part of the Northwest Territories prior to April 1, 1999. Births, marriages, deaths and adoptions that occurred in the present Nunavut Territory are with NWT Vital Statistics:

Registrar General
Vital Statistics
Department of Health & Social Services
Government of the NWT
Inuvik, NT
X0E 0T0

Ontario [Back to the menu]

In Ontario, civil registration dates from July 1, 1869. The Archives of Ontario holds records of births from 1869 to 1908, marriages from 1869 to 1923, and deaths from 1869 to 1933. Incomplete marriage registers prior to 1869 are also available.

Due to the large demand, staff members at that office are unable to undertake genealogical searches in these vital records. However, microfilm copies of the nominal indexes and the original registrations are available through inter-institutional loan from the Archives of Ontario and through your local Family History Library™. Should you prefer to hire someone to search through those records on your behalf, the Archives of Ontario can provide a list of researchers.

For births after 1908, marriages after 1923, and deaths after 1933, requests should be addressed to:

Registrar General [www.cbs.gov.on.ca/mcbs/english/4ULUQT.htm]
PO Box 4600
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 6L8

Prince Edward Island [Back to the menu]

In Prince Edward Island, civil registration began in 1906, but there are some marriage records (civil) and some baptismal records (church) dating from 1886. These are in the custody of:

Prince Edward Island Vital Statistics [www.gov.pe.ca/vitalstatistics/]
Health and Community Services Agency
PO Box 3000
Charlottetown, PE
C0A 1R0

Baptismal records prior to 1886, death records prior to 1906 and some marriage records from 1832 to 1923 have been transferred to the Public Archives and Records Office.

Quebec [Back to the menu]

In Quebec, the civil registers of births (baptisms), marriages and deaths (burials), which date from 1621, were duplicate copies of the church registers. All of the pre-1900 records can be consulted at each of the nine regional offices of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.

Those registers were microfilmed by the Family History Library™ and are available through that institution.

Records dating from 1900 are in the custody of the under-noted office:

Ministère de la Justice
Directeur de l'état civil [www.etatcivil.gouv.qc.ca/English/index.htm]
2535, boulevard Laurier
Sainte-Foy, QC
G1V 5C5

A general index for marriages and deaths that occurred in the province of Quebec between 1926 and 1994 was prepared by the Société de généalogie de Québec. It is available on CD-ROM and can be consulted in many genealogical societies and libraries.

Saskatchewan [Back to the menu]

In Saskatchewan, the Vital Statistics Unit, Department of Health holds records dating from 1895. Few records exist prior to that year.

Some databases [http://vsgs.health.gov.sk.ca/vsgs_srch.aspx] are available on their Web site.

Vital Statistics Unit [www.health.gov.sk.ca/ps_genealogy_certificates.html]
Department of Health
1942 Hamilton Street
Regina, SK
S4P 3V7

Yukon [Back to the menu]

In the Yukon Territory, incomplete records date from 1898. By the 1940s, records are more complete; however, some events may not have been registered. Requests should be directed to the:

Vital Statistics Agency [http://hss.gov.yk.ca/programs/vitalstats/]
Government of the Yukon Territory
PO Box 2703
Whitehorse, YT
Y1A 2C6

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