Ontario Church Records

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Consult church registers for records of baptisms, marriages, and burials before 1869—the year civil vital registration began in Ontario. These registers may be useful to 1930, when complete civil vital registration was finally achieved. Religious affiliation can be determined from family sources or censuses beginning in 1851.
+
Consult church registers for records of baptisms, marriages, and burials before 1869—the year civil vital registration began in Ontario. These registers may be useful to 1930, when complete civil vital registration was finally achieved. Religious affiliation can be determined from family sources or censuses beginning in 1851.  
  
You should search the registers of all denominations in the area where your ancestor lived, since many baptisms were performed in the nearest church, regardless of the family's religious affiliation. At certain periods of Ontario's history, only certain denominations were allowed to perform marriages. In many cases an individual had to be married by a priest or minister of a religion other than his own. The following history traces these changes:
+
You should search the registers of all denominations in the area where your ancestor lived, since many baptisms were performed in the nearest church, regardless of the family's religious affiliation. At certain periods of Ontario's history, only certain denominations were allowed to perform marriages. In many cases an individual had to be married by a priest or minister of a religion other than his own. The following history traces these changes:  
  
'''1793: '''Pre-Only Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy could legally perform marriages.
+
'''1793: '''Pre-Only Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy could legally perform marriages.  
  
'''1798-1793'''<nowiki>:&nbsp; Marriages could be performed by Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy and district clerks if the couple resided more than eighteen miles from an Anglican minister. Despite legal restrictions, a few Lutheran and Presbyterian ministers performed marriages before 1798 and recorded them in church registers.</nowiki>
+
'''1798-1793'''<nowiki>:&nbsp; Marriages could be performed by Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy and district clerks if the couple resided more than eighteen miles from an Anglican minister. Despite legal restrictions, a few Lutheran and Presbyterian ministers performed marriages before 1798 and recorded them in church registers.</nowiki>  
  
'''1831-1798'''<nowiki>:&nbsp; Anglican, Calvinist, Church of Scotland, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic clergy could perform marriages.</nowiki>
+
'''1831-1798'''<nowiki>:&nbsp; Anglican, Calvinist, Church of Scotland, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic clergy could perform marriages.</nowiki>  
  
'''1858-1831'''<nowiki>:&nbsp; All denominations mentioned above as well as Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians could perform marriages. Only non-Catholic and non-Anglican clergy were required to keep marriage registers for the inspection of civil authorities, separate from regular parish records.</nowiki>
+
'''1858-1831'''<nowiki>:&nbsp; All denominations mentioned above as well as Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians could perform marriages. Only non-Catholic and non-Anglican clergy were required to keep marriage registers for the inspection of civil authorities, separate from regular parish records.</nowiki>  
  
'''1869-1858'''<nowiki>:&nbsp; Clergy of all denominations could perform marriages. Clergy of all faiths were requested to transcribe information into county marriage registers; many did not.</nowiki>
+
'''1869-1858'''<nowiki>:&nbsp; Clergy of all denominations could perform marriages. Clergy of all faiths were requested to transcribe information into county marriage registers; many did not.</nowiki>  
  
The Family History Library has many parish records of the Roman Catholic Church and some church records for smaller denominations, notably minutes of various Baptist conferences.
+
The Family History Library has many parish records of the Roman Catholic Church and some church records for smaller denominations, notably minutes of various Baptist conferences.  
  
Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. Some national church headquarters or archives are described in the [[Canada Church Records|Canada Church Records section]] of the Canada Research Outline. Addresses of many church archives in Ontario are in Brenda Dougall Merriman's ''Genealogy in Ontario'', pages 243-46.
+
Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. Some national church headquarters or archives are described in the [[Canada Church Records|Canada Church Records section]] of the Canada Research Outline. Addresses of many church archives in Ontario are in Brenda Dougall Merriman's ''Genealogy in Ontario'', pages 243-46.  
  
You can write to the following churches to learn where their records are located.
+
You can write to the following churches to learn where their records are located.  
  
=== Anglican ===
+
=== Anglican ===
  
The Anglican Church in Canada, sometimes called Church of England or Protestant Episcopal Church, has published an inventory of church records and their locations at diocesan archives in Ontario:
+
The Anglican Church in Canada, sometimes called Church of England or Protestant Episcopal Church, has published an inventory of church records and their locations at diocesan archives in Ontario:  
  
''Guide to the Holdings of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario''. Agincourt, Ontario: Generation Press, 1990. (FHL book 971.3 K23g; not on microfilm.)
+
''Guide to the Holdings of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario''. Agincourt, Ontario: Generation Press, 1990. (Family History Library [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titledetails&titleno=363533&disp=Guide+to+the+holdings+of+the+archives+of%20%20&columns=*,0,0 book 971.3 K23g].)  
  
Further information is available from:
+
Further information is available from:  
  
'''Diocese of Ontario'''
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'''Diocese of Ontario'''  
  
Mr. Paul Banfield, Archivist<br>[mailto:banfield@post.queensu.ca banfield@post.queensu.ca]
+
Mr. Paul Banfield, Archivist<br>[mailto:banfield@post.queensu.ca banfield@post.queensu.ca]  
  
Ms. Lisa Russell, Diocesan Archival Technician<br>90 Johnson St.<br>Kingston, ON K7L 1X7<br>613-544-4774<br>613-547-3745 fx<br>[mailto:archives@ontario.anglican.ca archives@ontario.anglican.ca]
+
Ms. Lisa Russell, Diocesan Archival Technician<br>90 Johnson St.<br>Kingston, ON K7L 1X7<br>613-544-4774<br>613-547-3745 fx<br>[mailto:archives@ontario.anglican.ca archives@ontario.anglican.ca]  
  
=== Baptist ===
+
=== Baptist ===
  
Many Baptist records for Ontario are at the Family History Library. For further information write to:
+
Many Baptist records for Ontario are at the Family History Library. For further information write to:  
  
'''The Canadian Baptist Archives<br>'''McMaster Divinity College<br>1280 Main Street West&nbsp; Room 152<br>Hamilton, ON&nbsp;&nbsp; L8S 4K1 <br>CANADA <br>Fax:&nbsp; 905-577-4782&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>Telephone: (905) 525-9140 x23511 or x23512<br>Email: [mailto:cbarch@mcmaster.ca cbarch@mcmaster.ca]<br>Internet: http://www.macdiv.ca/students/baptistarchives.php
+
'''The Canadian Baptist Archives<br>'''McMaster Divinity College<br>1280 Main Street West&nbsp; Room 152<br>Hamilton, ON&nbsp;&nbsp; L8S 4K1 <br>CANADA <br>Fax:&nbsp; 905-577-4782&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>Telephone: (905) 525-9140 x23511 or x23512<br>Email: [mailto:cbarch@mcmaster.ca cbarch@mcmaster.ca]<br>Internet: http://www.macdiv.ca/students/baptistarchives.php  
  
=== Presbyterian ===
+
=== Presbyterian ===
  
Only a few pre-1925 Presbyterian records are available through the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Some of these are on film at the Family History Library. Most such records are at archives of the United Church of Canada. See the address below.
+
Only a few pre-1925 Presbyterian records are available through the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Some of these are on film at the Family History Library. Most such records are at archives of the United Church of Canada. See the address below.  
  
'''Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives<br>'''50 Wynford Drive<br>Toronto, ON M3C 1J7<br>CANADA <br>416-441-1111 ext. 310<br>416-441-2825 (fax)<br>[mailto:karnold@presbyterian.ca karnold@presbyterian.ca]<br>Inrernet: http://www.presbyterian.ca/archives/
+
'''Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives<br>'''50 Wynford Drive<br>Toronto, ON M3C 1J7<br>CANADA <br>416-441-1111 ext. 310<br>416-441-2825 (fax)<br>[mailto:karnold@presbyterian.ca karnold@presbyterian.ca]<br>Inrernet: http://www.presbyterian.ca/archives/  
  
=== Roman Catholic ===
+
=== Roman Catholic ===
  
[http://www.ancestry.ca/drouin/ Drouin Collection 1621-1967 of French Canadian records indexed at Ancestry.com]. This collection has over 15 million entries for French Canadian genealogical and vital records. Be sure to search for spelling variations of the ancestor's name. This index includes Quebec notarial, vital, and church records, Acadian Catholic records, Ontario French Catholic records, early French Catholic records in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Wisconsin.
+
[http://www.ancestry.ca/drouin/ Drouin Collection 1621-1967 of French Canadian records indexed at Ancestry.com]. This collection has over 15 million entries for French Canadian genealogical and vital records. Be sure to search for spelling variations of the ancestor's name. This index includes Quebec notarial, vital, and church records, Acadian Catholic records, Ontario French Catholic records, early French Catholic records in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Wisconsin.  
  
Most pre-1910 records of Roman Catholic parishes in Ontario have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library and its centers. Exceptions are listed below.
+
Most pre-1910 records of Roman Catholic parishes in Ontario have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library and its centers. Exceptions are listed below.  
  
The records of Stormont and Glengarry Counties are at:
+
The records of Stormont and Glengarry Counties are at:  
  
'''Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall<br>'''220 Chemin Montreal<br>P.O. Box 1388<br>Cornwall, ON K6H 5V4<br>CANADA <br>Telephone: (613) 933-1138<br>Fax: (613) 937-4931 <br>Internet: http://www.alexandria-cornwall.ca/
+
'''Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall<br>'''220 Chemin Montreal<br>P.O. Box 1388<br>Cornwall, ON K6H 5V4<br>CANADA <br>Telephone: (613) 933-1138<br>Fax: (613) 937-4931 <br>Internet: http://www.alexandria-cornwall.ca/  
  
The parish records of the Diocese of Hamilton are at:
+
The parish records of the Diocese of Hamilton are at:  
  
'''Diocese of Hamilton<br>'''700 King Street West<br>Hamilton, ON L8P 1C7<br>CANADA<br>Phone: [905] 528-7988<br>FAX [905] 528-1088 <br>Internet: http://www.hamiltondiocese.com/
+
'''Diocese of Hamilton<br>'''700 King Street West<br>Hamilton, ON L8P 1C7<br>CANADA<br>Phone: [905] 528-7988<br>FAX [905] 528-1088 <br>Internet: http://www.hamiltondiocese.com/  
  
=== United Church of Canada ===
+
=== United Church of Canada ===
  
United Church records include Methodist, most Presbyterian, and Congregational church records dating from before the 1925 merger which formed the church. Many records are still in the hands of local clergymen. Others are at:
+
United Church records include Methodist, most Presbyterian, and Congregational church records dating from before the 1925 merger which formed the church. Many records are still in the hands of local clergymen. Others are at:  
  
 
:'''United Church of Canada Archives<br>'''73 Queen's Park Crescent East<br>Victoria University<br>Toronto, ON M5S 1K7<br>CANADA<br>Tel: 416-585-4563<br>Fax: 416-585-4584 <br>Internet: http://www.united-church.ca/archives/
 
:'''United Church of Canada Archives<br>'''73 Queen's Park Crescent East<br>Victoria University<br>Toronto, ON M5S 1K7<br>CANADA<br>Tel: 416-585-4563<br>Fax: 416-585-4584 <br>Internet: http://www.united-church.ca/archives/
  
[[Category:Ontario]]
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[[Category:Ontario]] [[Category:Canada]]
[[Category:Canada]]
+

Revision as of 21:47, 29 October 2008

Consult church registers for records of baptisms, marriages, and burials before 1869—the year civil vital registration began in Ontario. These registers may be useful to 1930, when complete civil vital registration was finally achieved. Religious affiliation can be determined from family sources or censuses beginning in 1851.

You should search the registers of all denominations in the area where your ancestor lived, since many baptisms were performed in the nearest church, regardless of the family's religious affiliation. At certain periods of Ontario's history, only certain denominations were allowed to perform marriages. In many cases an individual had to be married by a priest or minister of a religion other than his own. The following history traces these changes:

1793: Pre-Only Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy could legally perform marriages.

1798-1793:  Marriages could be performed by Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy and district clerks if the couple resided more than eighteen miles from an Anglican minister. Despite legal restrictions, a few Lutheran and Presbyterian ministers performed marriages before 1798 and recorded them in church registers.

1831-1798:  Anglican, Calvinist, Church of Scotland, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic clergy could perform marriages.

1858-1831:  All denominations mentioned above as well as Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians could perform marriages. Only non-Catholic and non-Anglican clergy were required to keep marriage registers for the inspection of civil authorities, separate from regular parish records.

1869-1858:  Clergy of all denominations could perform marriages. Clergy of all faiths were requested to transcribe information into county marriage registers; many did not.

The Family History Library has many parish records of the Roman Catholic Church and some church records for smaller denominations, notably minutes of various Baptist conferences.

Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. Some national church headquarters or archives are described in the Canada Church Records section of the Canada Research Outline. Addresses of many church archives in Ontario are in Brenda Dougall Merriman's Genealogy in Ontario, pages 243-46.

You can write to the following churches to learn where their records are located.

Contents

Anglican

The Anglican Church in Canada, sometimes called Church of England or Protestant Episcopal Church, has published an inventory of church records and their locations at diocesan archives in Ontario:

Guide to the Holdings of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario. Agincourt, Ontario: Generation Press, 1990. (Family History Library book 971.3 K23g.)

Further information is available from:

Diocese of Ontario

Mr. Paul Banfield, Archivist
banfield@post.queensu.ca

Ms. Lisa Russell, Diocesan Archival Technician
90 Johnson St.
Kingston, ON K7L 1X7
613-544-4774
613-547-3745 fx
archives@ontario.anglican.ca

Baptist

Many Baptist records for Ontario are at the Family History Library. For further information write to:

The Canadian Baptist Archives
McMaster Divinity College
1280 Main Street West  Room 152
Hamilton, ON   L8S 4K1
CANADA
Fax:  905-577-4782  
Telephone: (905) 525-9140 x23511 or x23512
Email: cbarch@mcmaster.ca
Internet: http://www.macdiv.ca/students/baptistarchives.php

Presbyterian

Only a few pre-1925 Presbyterian records are available through the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Some of these are on film at the Family History Library. Most such records are at archives of the United Church of Canada. See the address below.

Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives
50 Wynford Drive
Toronto, ON M3C 1J7
CANADA
416-441-1111 ext. 310
416-441-2825 (fax)
karnold@presbyterian.ca
Inrernet: http://www.presbyterian.ca/archives/

Roman Catholic

Drouin Collection 1621-1967 of French Canadian records indexed at Ancestry.com. This collection has over 15 million entries for French Canadian genealogical and vital records. Be sure to search for spelling variations of the ancestor's name. This index includes Quebec notarial, vital, and church records, Acadian Catholic records, Ontario French Catholic records, early French Catholic records in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Wisconsin.

Most pre-1910 records of Roman Catholic parishes in Ontario have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library and its centers. Exceptions are listed below.

The records of Stormont and Glengarry Counties are at:

Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall
220 Chemin Montreal
P.O. Box 1388
Cornwall, ON K6H 5V4
CANADA
Telephone: (613) 933-1138
Fax: (613) 937-4931
Internet: http://www.alexandria-cornwall.ca/

The parish records of the Diocese of Hamilton are at:

Diocese of Hamilton
700 King Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 1C7
CANADA
Phone: [905] 528-7988
FAX [905] 528-1088
Internet: http://www.hamiltondiocese.com/

United Church of Canada

United Church records include Methodist, most Presbyterian, and Congregational church records dating from before the 1925 merger which formed the church. Many records are still in the hands of local clergymen. Others are at:

United Church of Canada Archives
73 Queen's Park Crescent East
Victoria University
Toronto, ON M5S 1K7
CANADA
Tel: 416-585-4563
Fax: 416-585-4584
Internet: http://www.united-church.ca/archives/