Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Early Ontario Marriage Registers and Vital Records, 1786 - 1870

Because of my Canadian heritage, one of the genealogy newsletters I subscribe to via email is from Global Genealogy. Besides news and research articles pertaining to Canadian genealogy, Global Genealogy is also a great resource of books, maps, and software. In their last newsletter, I noticed that their book and CD series, Early Ontario Marriage Registers and Vital Records, 1786 - 1870, had online indexes.

If you've done any Canadian research at all, you'll know that Ontario didn't start keeping vital records until 1869, with the start of mandatory civil registration. All my Canadian ancestors immigrated to Ontario before this date, making finding most vital records impossible. Prior to this date, however, many districts in the province of Upper Canada (now the southern part of Ontario) attempted to keep vital records. All non-Anglican and non-Roman Catholic ministers who performed marriages were required to provide their marriage returns to the district peace clerks, and most of these returns were recorded in the 1830s and later. Clicking on the link above gives a good historical outline and research guide for this time period. It also leads to the transcribed records in book and CD formats, which can be purchased, as well as FREE INDEXES of these records.

As I started searching through these indexes for my early Ontario ancestors, I decided to come up with a spreadsheet for these resources to help me track my research. I have made this spreadsheet available to you for your own use at http://tinyurl.com/OntarioVR. If you find your ancestors listed in the indexes, I recommend you purchase the corresponding book(s) at Global Genealogy for more details on the records themselves.

By the way, if you are looking for Ontario vital records after the start of civil registration in 1869, some places where they can be found are Ancestry.ca or the world membership subscription at Ancestry.com. They are also available for free at FamilySearch.org. There are also a number of early records indexes at Library and Archives Canada.

Happy Hunting!

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