Newfoundland, Vital Statistics (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Newfoundland Registers of Vital Statistics .

Collection Time Period

This collection contains records dating from 1753 to 1893.

Record Description

Burial records were not systematically gathered for this collection so only a very small number are found in the collection.

Record Content

Baptism Records may contain:

  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Parents' names (often just the father’s name)
  • Name of child
  • Sex of child
  • Date of baptism
  • Religious denomination of child
  • Parishes where baptized

Marriage Records may contain:

  • Date of marriage
  • Place of marriage
  • Name of groom and bride
  • Age (if known)
  • Bachelor or Spinster
  • Occupation
  • Religion Denomination
  • Residence at time of marriage
  • Witnesses for each marriage

Burial Records may contain:

  • Name of Deceased
  • Date of Burial
  • Place of Death
  • Name of Deceased
  • Religious Denomination
  • Age
  • Place of Birth (on some records only)
  • Place of Interment (on some records only)

How to Use the Records

The information in some of these records may not be complete. Because the transcription project was so large and because some of the names in the registers may not have been clearly legible, mistakes may have been made. It is advisable to check the original registers whenever possible.

Record History

Civil registration started in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1891 and 1892. At that time, all clergy were required to register every baptism, marriage, and burial conducted within their jurisdiction. Prior to 1891, no central registry existed, so the only record of a baptism, marriage, or burial was the one held by the church.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Sir John Charles Puddester was disturbed that the original parish registers were in bad condition and some of the records had been lost in fires and other disasters. So, he initiated a program of transcribing the pre-1891 church records. Burial records were not requested, although some churches did submit them. The collection is not complete because many clergy and churches did not respond to the request. The collection contains mostly Protestant records; only 6 of the 124 volumes are Roman Catholic records.

Why the Record Was Created

Civil registration did not exist in Newfoundland and Labrador until 1891 or 1892. The Newfoundland Registers of Vital Statics were created in order to gather birth and marriage information from churches for the time period before 1891.

Record Reliability

These records are generally reliable, but not all churches and clergy responded to the request for records, so the collection is not complete. Also, because most of the records were handwritten and then copied, there may be transcription errors and mistakes in the spelling of some individuals’ names. It is important to check for alternate and similar spellings.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Canada Archives and Libraries

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 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.

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

"Newfoundland, Vital Statistics, 1753-1893." index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 31 March 2011. entry for William Champion and Rosanna Mansfield, married September 13, 1874; citing Mariage Records, Flowers Cove, Flowers Cove (Methodist), Marriage 1874-1890, Vol. 95, Image 1, number 2; Newfoundland Department of Public Health and Welfare, Provincial Archives of Newfoundland, St. John's Newfoundland.

Sources of Information for This Collection:

Newfoundland registration of Vital Statistics, 1753-1893, images, FamilySearch (; from Newfoundland. Department of Public Health and Welfare. Registers of Vital Statistics collection, 1753-1893, Provincial Archives of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland. FHL microfilm, 18 rolls. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.