British Columbia Marriage Registrations (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

This collection will include records from 1859 to 1932.

The pre-confederation (or colonial) marriage records consist of certified marriage certificates, or returns of marriages, submitted by clergy of various denominations, as well as typed certified extracts (ca. 1933) from marriage registers maintained by churches and missions. The set contains 8 volumes but v. A1 (A to J surnames, 1859-1872, British Columbia mainland) was missing at the time of filming and is not included in this set. The marriage registrations, begun in 1872, are recorded on individual, printed forms. They consist of completed statements regarding marriages submitted to district registrars and registered by the director of Vital Statistics. Note that these forms are not marriage certificates but registrations of marriages. Marriage certificates contain information from the original registration records and are only available through the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency.

The pre-confederation marriages occurred in the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island and were submitted to the Colonial Secretary by clergy. The two colonies were united in 1866 prior to the entry of British Columbia into the Confederation of Canada. British Columbia became a province of Canada in July 1871, and registration of vital events began in 1872. The only persons excluded from the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Act of 1872 were Chinese and Aboriginals. This was changed by an amendment in 1897, stating the registration would apply to all races. However, the Act was amended in 1899 to once again exclude First Nations from provincial registration until another amendment was passed in 1916, which authorized registration of First Nations to begin again in 1917. These restrictions did not apply to pre-confederation marriages.

Coverage is a small percentage of the population. Beginning in 1872, official government registration applied to the whole province of British Columbia except for the Chinese (until 1897) and First Nations (until 1917). Early registration records are very incomplete chiefly due to the fact that a majority of the population lived great distances from the registry offices and communication was difficult.

Pre-confederation marriages were gathered and registration of marriages begun in order to keep a written record for use by the government.

Provincial vital registrations are considered a reliable source in family history research because they contain a record of an event usually registered very near the time the event occurred. The reliability, of course, depends on the accuracy of the informant.

Record Content

Marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Names of bride and groom
  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Residences when married
  • Places of birth
  • Marital status
  • Names of parents (father’s name only in most pre-confederation records)
  • Names of witnesses and their residences
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Religious denominations of bride and groom
  • Name of person performing the marriage
  • Whether marriage was by license or by banns

How to Use the Records

To begin your search in this collection,it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Name of bride or groom
  • Approximate year and place of marriage

Search the Collection

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

Look at the images comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

Using the Information

When you have found your ancestor's record, the following will help further your research:

  • Use the place of birth for the bride and groom to search for a birth record.
  • Use the names of the parents for both the bride and groom to search for a marriage record.
  • View the image on the record. The image usually tells you more information than the indexed record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Your ancestor might have lived in a different place from where you were looking for the birth, marriage, or death.
  • Your ancestor might have lived at a slightly different time from the years you were looking.
  • Not every birth, marriage, or death was registered.
  • Look in the Canada Census Records for the residence of the parents.

General Information About These Records

Be sure and click on the View Image to bring up the actual image. There is often additional information that might be valuable in your research.

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Don't overlook FHL Place Canada, British Columbia items or FHL Keyword British Columbia items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see British Columbia Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for this Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932" Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Vital Statistics Agency, Victoria.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for British Columbia, Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932.

Image Citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for British Columbia, Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 23 October 2014, at 19:43.
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