Ontario Deaths and Overseas Deaths (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.



Record Description

This collection includes an index of death records from July 1869 through 1937 and overseas deaths of Ontario military personnel from 1939-1947.

Registrations were kept on printed forms and then bound into volumes. The entries are arranged chronologically by date of registration.

A provincial act to register births, marriages, and deaths went into effect on July 1, 1869. This act created the Office of the Registrar General, and in each county or incorporated city or town, a clerk of the peace acted as the district registrar. Each municipality (city, village, town, township, or district) had a division registrar who sent all their books to a district registrar. This district registrar then transmitted the records to the registrar general at the provincial level. In 1875, the office of district registrar was eliminated, and the division registrars began sending their registrations directly to the registrar general.

In 1896, the process was altered. Division registrars received a copy of the registration forms from the person who reported the event. These forms were then indexed and entered into new registers. The division registrar made a copy of the form and sent it to the Office of the Registrar General every six months. After 1908, the division registrar made two copies of the original forms, who then kept one locally and sent the other quarterly to the registrar general. Later, the registrar general began indexing the registers.

Deaths were recorded in Ontario to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.

The information pertaining to death is usually reliable. This includes the cause of death, the name of the attending physician or medical professional, the name and address of the funeral home, and the exact date and place of burial. The accuracy of other information depends on the reliability of the informant (often a family member).

Record Content

Before 1908, the death records may contain the following information:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Death and registration date
  • Birthplace of the deceased.
  • Either the spouse's name of deceased or, if single, the father's name (1907-1908)
  • Age at death
  • Gender
  • Name of the informant
  • Informant's relationship to deceased (often a relative)
  • Former residence of the deceased (1896–1906)
  • Residence of the informant (1869–1896)

After 1908, the death records added the following information:

  • Full name of the father and maiden name of the mother
  • Parents' birthplace
  • Place of death. The place of death was implied by the divisions and county where the event was registered

How to Use the Records

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

  • Name of deceased
  • Approximate year of death and place of death

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 people 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 records and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

As you are searching, it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

For tips about searching online collections, see the wiki page FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

Using the Information

  • Use the age to calculate the approximate birth year
  • Search for the names of the parents in the Ontario Marriage collections.

General Information About These Records

Death registrations are the best source of death information for an individual. These records may list a person's age, occupation, religious affiliation, and birthplace. You can use this information to then search for additional records. In addition, death records may provide clues for searching for other individuals related to your ancestor. Usually the person who provided the death information was a child or other relative of the deceased. Death registrations after 1907 list the names and birthplaces of parents.

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

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  

Collection Citation:

"Ontario Deaths,1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947." Database with image. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Registrar General. Archives of Ontario, Toronto.

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 Ontario Deaths,1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947.

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 Ontario Deaths,1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947.


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  • This page was last modified on 10 August 2015, at 21:26.
  • This page has been accessed 19,653 times.