British Columbia Birth Registrations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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British Columbia Birth Registrations, 1854-1903 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
British Columbia,  Canada
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Location of British Columbia, Canada
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Record Description
Record Type Births
Collection years 1854-1903
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
British Columbia Information Management Services



What is in this Collection?

The registration of births began in 1872, but because of delayed registration, this collection includes births from 1854-1903.

These records include birth registrations, delayed birth registrations, and delayed registrations of native births. Due to privacy by the government of British Columbia, some images have been restricted from viewing.

The birth registrations are recorded on individual, printed forms. They consist of completed statements regarding live births in British Columbia submitted to district registrars and registered by the director of Vital Statistics. Birth certificates contain information from the original registration records and are only available through the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency. A stillbirth may have been registered as either a birth, death, or both.

British Columbia became a province of Canada in July 1871; registration of vital events began in 1872. The only persons excluded from the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Act of 1872 were Chinese and First Nations. This was changed by an amendment in 1897, stating the registration would apply to all races. However, the Act was amended in 1899 to once again exclude First Nations from provincial registration until another amendment was passed in 1916, which authorized registration of First Nations to begin again in 1917. Because of delayed registration, First Nation births in this collection range from 1854 -1903 (v. 795, 995A-998A). Birth records are organized by birth year instead of registration year in order to enable the release of early birth information that might otherwise have been restricted because of a late registration date. On 4 June 2004, an amendment to the Vital Statistics Act changed the release date for birth records from 100 years to 120 years.

Provincial vital registrations are considered a reliable source in family history research because they contain a record of an event usually registered very near the time the event occurred. The reliability, of course, depends on the accuracy of the informant.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Birth registrations usually include:

  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Name of child
  • Gender of child
  • Name of father
  • Name of mother, including maiden name
  • Residence of parents
  • Occupation of father
  • Birthplace of parents
  • Age of parents
  • Date and number of registration

Native birth records usually include:

  • Name of child
  • Place of birth
  • Gender of child
  • Date of birth
  • Single, twin, triplet, or other
  • Marital status of parents
  • Name of parents
  • Tribe of parents
  • Age of parents
  • Occupation of father
  • Birthplace of parents
  • Number of children
  • Residence
  • Name of doctor and date of registration
 

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a relative or date of the event

Search the Index

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page then:

  1. Fill in the search boxes with the information you know.
  2. Click Search. This will provide possible a list of matches.


View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page then:

  1. Select Digital Folder Number

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.


For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information to find other records such as marriage, census, church, land and death records.
  • Use the occupations to find employment or military records.
  • Use the information to establish a migration pattern and find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of British Columbia, Canada Genealogy.
  • Search in the British Columbia Archives and Libraries.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Catalog

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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 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.

Citing this Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

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:

"British Columbia Birth Registrations, 1854-1903." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Registrar General of Titles. Vital Statistics Agency, Victoria.

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 British Columbia Birth Registrations, 1854-1903.


Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for British Columbia Birth Registrations, 1854-1903.
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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.