Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Ontario,  Canada
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Location of Ontario, Canada
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Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years 1760-1923
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Dioceses and Archidioceses in Ontario


What is in this Collection?

This collection includes Catholic Church records from 1760 to 1923.

This collection includes Catholic Church records from various Ontario parishes. The records include baptisms, marriages and deaths. Church records are an important way to track ancestors prior to civil registration. Civil registration began in Ontario in 1869 but was not fully implemented until 1930.

Records are included for the following dioceses:

  • London
  • Moosonee
  • Pembroke
  • Peterborough
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • St. Catharines
  • Thunder Bay
  • Timmins

Records are included for the following archdioceses:

  • Kingston
  • Ottawa
  • Toronto

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Baptismal records usually contain the following information:

  • Name of child
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Date of child's birth
  • Legitimacy declared
  • Name of parents
  • Names of sponsors/witnesses
  • Name of priest performing baptism

Marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Name of groom, his age and residence
  • Groom's birthplace
  • Groom's marital status and occupation
  • Groom's religious denomination
  • Names of groom's parents, including maiden name of mother
  • Name of bride, her age and residence
  • Bride's birthplace
  • Bride's marital status and occupation
  • Names of bride's parents, including maiden name of mother
  • Married by license of banns
  • Names of witnesses and their residence
  • Name of officiating priest

Death records usually contain the following information:

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Birthplace of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Name of officiating priest
  • Date of interment

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The place where your ancestor lived.
  • The approximate date of a birth, marriage, or death.
  • The names of family members and their relationships.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search this collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse Images" on the initial search page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "City/Town"
⇒Select the appropriate "Parish"
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type and Year Range" which will take you to the images.

Important: Keep in mind that church records were kept at the local parish of the church. A parish is a local congregation that may include many villages. Your ancestor may have lived in a village and belonged to a parish in a nearby larger town.

Search the collection images one by one, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed to your ancestors to make this determination.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • if you found a marriage, you could look for a baptism or christening in the same parish or a nearby parish and vice versa.
  • Use the information found in the church records to compare with civil records. Check the available Ontario collections on FamilySearch for civil records and time periods that may be of interest to you.
  • Use the information to find your ancestors in Censuses. These can help you find additional family members and places of residence.

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

  • Errors sometimes occur in the transcription of the records. If possible, try to view the original record to verify the information and find additional information that might not have been reported.
  • 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.
  • Indexes to church records are valuable tools to locate families in Canada, especially in the absence of census indexes, many of these indexes are of French Canadian families.
  • Small villages which did not have their own church were designated as belonging to a particular parish. Over time, some villages, chapelries, or "missions" may have belonged to several parishes as jurisdictions changed.

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 Wiki 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

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:

"Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Dioceses and Archidioceses in Ontario.


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 Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923.

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.