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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 Research: Manitoba Ancestors by Laura Hanowski. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Manitoba Vital Records and Alternates
Birth, marriage and death records have been registered with Vital Statistics in Manitoba since 1882. The records until 1945 are incomplete so it is important to be aware of other sources that recorded births, marriages and deaths.
Genealogists try to locate copies of birth, marriage and death registrations as a primary source because most of the information was gathered at the time of the event. Registration forms have changed over the years so it is useful to know if the question you want answered was part of the form at the time of the event. All requests must be made on the Application for Genealogical Search form. Because of privacy legislation it is essential that the requester note if the information is for someone who is the immediate next of kin (spouse, children, parents or siblings) who are still living. If so, written proof of their consent to release the requested information must be attached to the application. Note whether the event was recorded at the time of the event or much later.
Beginning on 01 January 2003 it is possible to search the Manitoba Vital Statistics database for birth records more than 100 years old, marriage records more than 80 years old and death records more than 70 years old. This database enables one to check for records oneself and then order a copy of the registration online at a reduced rate. If you do not have access to a computer, it is still possible to have the staff search for a possible copy.
Once you have located an entry in the database you will be able to order a copy of the record.
Before ordering records previous to 1912 check a map of Manitoba’s changing boundaries to be sure the location where the event took place was within the province of Manitoba.
Church records in Manitoba predate vital statistics records. The first Roman Catholic parish was established in the Red River in 1818 followed by the Church of England (Anglican) in 1820. In 1840 the Methodists came to Rossville, near Norway House, while the Presbyterians arrived in Assiniboine in 1851. As the Germanic people started to arrive in the 1870s the Baptist, Mennonite and Lutheran churches appeared in Manitoba. In 1925 the Congregationalists, Methodists and some of the Presbyterians combined to form the United Church of Canada. Church records may be found in local churches or in the case of closed churches in church archives. Some of the pre-1882 records are available at the Library and Archives Canada and the Archives of Manitoba.
A list of which church records are found in local communities is found in The Inventory of Archival Records in Western Manitoba or Inventory of Archival Records in Eastern Manitoba. Other sources to check for the names of a local church are directories, local histories and newspapers. Do not limit your search to baptism, marriage and burial records, check to see if there are lists of confirmations, communion rolls, family registers and church minutes. Many early church records indicate where people came from including the name of their former church and where it was located. Some early church records may be kept in the language of origin for the church community such as German or any of the Scandinavian languages.
- Coates, K.S. and J.C. Everitt, W.R. Morrison, Kempthorne, Roberta, editors. Inventory of Archival Material in Western Manitoba. 3 volumes. Brandon, Manitoba: Brandon University Press, 1987-1989.
- Everitt, J.C. and Roberta Kempthorne, editors. Inventory of Archival Material Volume IV Eastern Manitoba. Brandon, Manitoba: Brandon University Press, 1991.
Canadian Genealogy Centre
At the Canadian Genealogy Centre site select “Sources by Topic”, then “Births, Marriages and Deaths”. This will take you to a page that describes Parish Registers and provides directions for how to find the list of available church records that can be found if you check the section “genealogy,” then check “church records” and follow the directions for how to find the records by using the “General Inventory” database. Those records found on microfilm can be borrowed through interlibrary loan.
- Campeau, Marielle, compiler and revised by Patricia Birkett.A Checklist of Parish Registers: Répertoire des registers paroissiaux, 1986. 4th edition. Ottawa: National Archives of Canada, 1986.
Library and Archives Canada
The Library and Archives Canada has copies of most of the published marriage indexes for Canada. Their database AMICUS gives you access to the catalogue for the National Library and 1,300 other libraries in Canada.
Family History Library
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has some microfilm copies of church records in Manitoba. Copies of these films can be accessed through any of their FamilySearch Centers worldwide. Check the catalog for details.
Archives of Manitoba
The Archives of Manitoba have microfilm and paper copies of records for some Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic churches, plus All Souls Unitarian and the Shaarey Zedek Jewish Congregation, Winnipeg. Restrictions apply. There are finding aids online for each set of records that provide the names of the parishes, the years covered and the microfilm numbers.
There are three Anglican dioceses in Manitoba. If the records you are interested in are not in the local church contact the diocese office for more information about where they may be held.
This diocese, which was created in 1913, covers the western third of the province
This diocese, which was created in 1899, covers most of Northern Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.
This was the first diocese in Manitoba, dating from 1820, when it covered most of what is now Western Canada but today covers central southern Manitoba.
- MacDonald, Wilma. Guide to the Holdings of the Ecclesiastical Province and Dioceses of Rupert’s Land. Winnipeg: St. John’s College Press, 1986.
Many Baptist congregations have deposited their original records in the Canadian Baptist Archives which is located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Remember that baptism is only as an adult.
Jewish Religious Records
The Genealogical Institute of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada
Suite C140-123 Doncaster Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3N 2B2
Telephone: (204) 477-7460
The genealogical institute has extensive records of Jewish communities, organizations and individuals in Western Canada. The birth, marriage and burial records for 1907-1971 for Shaarey Zedek Synagogue are available for loan from the Archives of Manitoba.
To find the current addresses for Lutheran churches contact the following synod addresses:
Central District Lutheran Missouri Synod
1927 Grant Drive
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 4V6
Telephone - Toll-free: 1-800-663-5673
Methodist and Mennonite Church
The records for the Methodist congregations that joined the United Church in 1925 are found in the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Conference Archives. This centre has records for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The archives have personal and congregation collections.
Presbyterian Church in Canada
The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives and Records Office has original church records for several hundred Presbyterian congregations as well as microfilm copies of others. In addition to the church records there are session minutes which often contain births/baptisms and marriages. Communion rolls and registers list members of the congregation.
The Presbyterian Church In Canada Archives and Records Office
50 Wynford Drive
Toronto, Ontario M3C 1J7
Telephone: (416) 441-1111ext. 310
Roman Catholic Church
- Lareau, Paul J. and Julien Hamelin, compilers. Manitoba Marriages: Mariages du Manitoba. 3 volumes. Ottawa: Centre de généalogie, 1984.
Archdiocese of St. Boniface
Centre du patrimoine-records of baptisms, confirmation, marriages and burials
340 boul. Provencher St.
Boniface, Manitoba R2H 0G7
Telephone: (204) 233-4888
- Fortier, Alfred and Agnes Labossiere.Répertoire des mariages du Fort Alexandre et missions, 1878-1955: Fort Alexandre (FTA), Manigotagan, Hole River. Saint-Boniface, Manitoba: Société de Saint-Boniface, 1985.
- Fortier, Alfred. Répertoire des mariages: Laurier, MB, 1889-1982. Saint-Boniface, Manitoba: Société de Saint-Boniface, 1985.
- Fortier, Alfred and Yvette Cenerini. Christian Delaquis, Lucille Jamault,Repértoire des mariages de Notre-Dame de-Lourdes, Manitoba, 1891-1982. St.-Leon, Manitoba: La société de historique de Lourdes, 1982.
- Fortier, Alfred and Estelle Dupuis. Répertoire des mariages de la paroisse Precieux-San, Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, 1946-1984. Saint-Boniface, Manitoba: Société de Saint-Boniface, 1985.
- Fortier, Alfred and Agnes Labossiere. Répertoire des mariages: Sacre-Coeur de Winnipeg, 1905 -1970. Saint-Boniface, Manitoba: Société de Saint-Boniface, 1985.
- Fortier, Alfred and Suzanne Comte.Répertoire des mariages de Saint-Leon, Manitoba, 1879-1982. Saint-Leon, Manitoba: La société historique et généalogique de Saint-Leon, inc., 1982.
- Hamelin, Julien, compiler.Répertoire des mariages de Saint-Boniface, 1825-1983. Ottawa: Centre de généalogie, 1985.
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Manitoba Ancestors offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.