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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian Vital Statistics Records Part 2  by by Sharon L. Murphy. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

British Columbia

The genealogy certificates provided by the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency are intended to provide more information than a regular birth, marriage or death certificate. These records are available to qualified applicants and the disclosure of their information is in compliance with the Vital Statistics Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Remember that there is an online index and some digital images of British Columbia’s historical birth, death and marriage records from as early as 1872 on the British Columbia Archives website. The current index (as of January 2014) covers:

Birth registrations from 1854- 1903

  • Marriage registrations from 1872-1936
  • Death registrations from 1872-1992

A later year of records will be added to the online index annually, except for births. In 2004 the restricted period for births was changed to 120 years; as a result, no new birth records will be released until 2025. The online index can be searched and is available on their website.

For all records dating after the above, you must meet specific criteria of eligibility and apply for genealogical certificates the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency.

British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency has produced a guide Genealogical Resources for British Columbians (2010 Revision)] which may be accessed at their website.

For a genealogy birth event, an eligible applicant is:

  • the individual, if the event is their own birth
  • anyone, as long as the record pertains to a person who has been dead for 20 years and proof of death is produced.
  • anyone, if the record has been in existence for 120 years
  • if the person is deceased, the closest living relative of the person named, on production of proof of death
  • an agent of the above, if they are the solicitor for the person, or they have written consent of the eligible person.


An interesting feature that is provided is the exact time and weight and Apgar[1] score of your own or your child’s birth if the information was collected as part of the registration process in place at the time the birth was registered. They have obtained this information from a search of Physicians’ Notices of Births (PNOB), which are only available from 1944 to the present. Time of birth and weight (when available), are included on all birth genealogy certificates. This is a great feature for numerology and astrology.

The certificate may contain the following information, or a notation indicating it is “not recorded”:

  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Sex
  • Date of Registration
  • Name of Parent(s)
  • Age of Parent(s)
  • Birthplace of Parent(s)
  • Occupation of Father
  • Time of Birth
  • Birth Weight
  • Apgar Score

For a marriage event an eligible applicant is:

  • anyone, as long as the bride and groom have both been dead for 20 years
  • anyone, if the record has been in existence for 75 years
  • the closest living relative of the person, on production of proof of death
  • an agent of the above, if they are the solicitor for the person, or they have written consent of the eligible person

The certificate may contain the following information, or a notation indicating it is “not recorded”:

  • Name of Bride
  • Place of Birth
  • Occupation of Bride
  • Parent(s) of Bride
  • Name of Groom
  • Place of Birth
  • Occupation of Groom
  • Parent(s) of Groom
  • Date of Marriage
  • Place of Marriage
  • Witnesses Name

For a death event an eligible applicant is:

  • the nearest living relative with proof of relationship
  • any unrelated person if the death occurred more than 20 years previously
  • an agent of the above, if they are the solicitor for the person, or they have written consent of the eligible person

The certificate may contain the following information, or a notation indicating it is “not recorded”:

  • Date of Death
  • Place of Death
  • Last Residence
  • Age
  • Birthdate
  • Place of Birth
  • Marital Status
  • Name of spouse
  • Occupation of Deceased
  • Informant
  • Parents
  • Birthplace of Parent
  • Cause of Death

To obtain any of the above genealogy certificates you must complete an Application for Service form and forward it together with the appropriate fee to the Vital Statistics Agency office or use their electronic order service. Both of these options may be accessed on their website.

British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency
P.O. Box 9657 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9P3

References

  1. Apgar scoring is a medical tool which monitors certain signs in a baby on a scale from 1 to 10. The categories rated are activity (muscle tone), pulse, grimace (reflex), appearance (colour)and respiration. This is done at one minute and five minutes after birth. It may be done 10 minutes after birth if the baby's rating is low in a certain category.




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Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Canadian Vital Statistics Records Part 2 offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.

  • This page was last modified on 3 November 2014, at 20:53.
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