British Columbia Vital RecordsEdit This Page
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British Columbia became a province in 1871. Provincewide registration of birth, marriage, and death records began in 1872. A few records were made for events which took place before 1872 but were registered later. Many births, marriages, and deaths were not registered in the early years. Vital records began to be kept more systematically in 1920.
Availability Vital records of births more than 100 years old, marriages more than 75 years old, and deaths more than 20 years old are available online and on microfilm. Vital records that are more recent must be requested on forms available from the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency.
Some births, marriages, and deaths not recorded in vital records may be in church records. British Columbia vital records are restricted for many years before they can be made public:
- Birth records, 100 years.
- Marriage records, 75 years.
- Death records, 20 years.
For additional information about vital records in Canada, including research strategies, see Canada Vital Records.
Finding the Records
- British Columbia Archives-Royal British Columbia Museum
- Birth (1854-1903), Marriage (1872-1936), Death (1872-1991) Online index with images - free.
- Vital Statistics Agency
- 818 Fort Street
- Victoria, BC V8W 1H8
- Phone: 250–952–2681
- Fax: 250–952–2587
- Mailing Address:
- P.O. Box 9657
- STN. PROV. GOVT.
- Victoria, BC V8W 9P3
- Vancouver Public Library
- 350 W. Georgia St.
- Vancouver, BC V6B 6B1
- Phone: 604–331–3740 (newspapers, magazines)
- Phone: 604–331–3710 (history, government, genealogy)
- Fax: 604–331–3744
- Cloverdale Library
- 5642 - 176A Street
- Surrey, BC V3S 4G9
- Phone: 604-598-7320
- Copies of vital records are 50 cents per copy in person or $5 if ordered by mail or e-mail.
- British Columbia Archives
- Index only to births, marriages, deaths - free
Family History Library
Many births, marriages, and deaths are listed in the Master Index Card File, British Columbia Genealogical Society. (BCGS) The BCGS card index of over 100,000 names giving mainly births, marriages and deaths compiled from cemetery transcriptions, church records, published histories and misc. sources for ca. 1850-ca. 1986 is available at the Society's Walter Draycott Library in Surrey, BC, Canada.
Originals of the BCGS Master Index Card File, then over 51,000 records, were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986–7 at the British Columbia Genealogical Society, Richmond, BC.
British Columbia films of death registers are no longer available at the Family History Library. See the free online index and images listed above in Finding the Records - British Columbia Archives-Royal British Columbia Museum and in the FamilySearch collections listed below.
Wiki articles describing these collections are found at:
- British Columbia Birth Registrations (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- British Columbia, Birth, Marriage, and Death Information from the Victoria Times (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- British Columbia Death Registrations (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- British Columbia Marriage Registrations (FamilySearch Historical Records)
The following links provide further information:
- FamilySearch Births 1854-1903
- FamilySearch Record Search Births 1854-1903
- Online Index of Births, 1872-1903
- Online Index to Baptisms, 1836-1885
- FamilySearch Record Search Marriages 1859-1932
- Online Index of Colonial Marriages, 1859-1872
- Online Index of Marriages, 1872-1930
- Online Index of Deaths, 1872-1985
- FamilySearch Record Search Deaths 1872-1986
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