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Local History Main


Births, Marriages & Deaths (B-M-Ds or Vital Statistics)

[Return to Core Genealogy Topics List]

Birth, marriage and death, civil records form the backbone of genealogical research. B-M-Ds are also referred to as vital statistics. Also included in B-M-Ds are adoption and divorce resources.

In Ontario, civil registration was mandated in 1869. Previous to 1869, researchers should refer to Church Records.

Search Burlington & Halton B-M-Ds

Halton News (Newspaper Index) - Burlington birth, marriage, and death notices can be searched within this database by entering the surname of the person. Including first names or using first names only may or may not produce results. You may need to be creative in checking variant spellings or misspellings of names.

Archives of Ontario

Archives of Ontario Pathfinders - "How to" Guides

Archives of Ontario Birth, Marriage & Death INDEXES

These are available on microfilm at Central Library for the years as follow. You will need to know the surname and year of the registration to determine the correct reel to order, to obtain the registration.

  • Births, 1869-1914 (microfilm of 1915-1916 indexes would have to be interloaned)
  • Marriages, 1873-1929 (microfilm of 1930-1931 indexes would have to be interloaned)
  • Deaths, 1869-1939 (microfilm of 1940-1941 indexes would have to be interloaned)
  • Index Books at BPL - BPL catalogue records for Archives of Ontario birth, marriage and death indexes

Each year Archives of Ontario releases another year of microfilmed indexes and registrations. NOTE that as of 2012, each year the Archives has been digitizing another year of indexes and registrations. Currently their online service is available for searching in-house only, at the Archives. Microfilm reels for the most recent years may be requested on interlibrary loan through Central Library. Microfilm readers are available for your use on the second floor.

Archives of Ontario Birth, Marriage & Death REGISTRATIONS

In Ontario, civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began as of July 1, 1869. Civil registrations date from July 1, 1869. For vital statistics information before 1869, see Church Records. Incomplete marriage registrations prior to 1869 are also available. The Archives of Ontario holds and interloans microfilm records of birth, marriage and death registrations for the following years:

  • Births, 1869-1916
  • Marriages, 1873-1931
  • Deaths, 1869-1941

How to Obtain Birth, Marriage & Death Registrations From Archives of Ontario

The full registration record is available for loan on microfilm from the Archives of Ontario. Determining the correct reel to order is a two step process.

  1. Use the Archives of Ontario birth, marriage or death INDEXES, to find the registration number and corresponding reel number for the person you are researching.
  2. Request a microfilm interlibrary loan at the Information Desk, second floor at Central Library to obtain the microfilm of the birth, marriage or death REGISTRATION.

You may interloan up to three microfilm at a time through the library's Interlibrary Loan Service. This service is free.

You may also search for birth, marriage and death registrations using Ancestry Library Edition, available at all public computers at every BPL location.

How to Access More Recent Vital Statistics

The Office of the Registrar General holds Ontario records for births that happened during the past 95 years, marriages from the past 80 years and deaths from the past 70 years. Each year another year of records is released to the Archives of Ontario for public use. For more recent records contact :

  • Ontario Office of the Registrar General, Thunder Bay
  • Metropolitan Toronto residents - phone 416.325.8305
  • Ontario residents outside Metropolitan Toronto - 1.800.461.2156 (toll-free)
  • E-mail - cbsinfo@cbs.gov.on.ca
  • Identification and Certificates - apply for a birth, marriage or death certificate online through Service Ontario

Adoptions from Archives of Ontario

Until Ontario's Adoption Act (8 April 1921), guardianships (child custody without the right of inheritance) were granted through the Surrogate Court. While not listed in the indexes, guardianship actions are recorded in the registers, and later for some counties, in separate guardianship books. For adoption files, contact the Adoption Information Unit, Ministry of Community and Social Services, 2 Bloor Street West, 24th floor, Toronto, Ontario M7A 1E9.

Divorces

Ancestry Library Edition Database

The following topics relating to vital statistics are available in Ancestry Library Edition and may be searched using any BPL public computer. Please note that content is updated regularly so we suggest that you take the time to explore.

  • Ontario Births, 1869-1909
  • Ontario Marriage Notices, 1813-1924
  • Ontario Deaths, 1869-1934
  • Ontario Civil Marriage Registrations, 1869-1873
  • Ontario Roman Catholic Marriages, 1827-1870
  • French Canadian Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1741-1967

Recommended Links

Archives of Ontario Links to Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes and Registrations

Indexes - use the tables to find the year of the death and surname initial of the person you are looking for and note the reel number required. If you are unsure of the date of the death, expand your search to include a greater number of years.

Registrations - use the tables to find the year of the registration, then the volume within that year which contains the registration number, and note the reel number required.

Early Ontario Baptism, Marriage and Burial records - Bill Martin's pages of early Ontario records are found on two separate websites.

Books & Print Materials

(BUR) refers to non-circulating items located in the Burlington History Room. To view these items, please present your library card or other identification at the 2nd floor Information Desk, Central Library.

(RR) or Ready Reference, also (REF) or Reference, refers to an item that must be used in the library.

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