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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in April 2013. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian: Vital Statistic Records - Part 1 by Sharon L. Murphy. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Other Sources for Birth, Marriage and Death Records
The following list has been extracted from the Archives of Ontario Research Guide No. 299, “Sources of Family History.” Several additional sources have been included to give you the latest information available.
They include a limited number of marriage bonds as well as returns of births, baptisms, marriages, death and burials for various counties and districts throughout Ontario.
- Eastern District marriage bonds (RG 22-4993), 1806-1807
- Essex County Clerk of the Peace birth, baptism, marriage and burial returns (RG 22-1897), 1822-1897
- Johnstown district Clerk of the Peace baptism, marriage and death returns (RG 22-2986) 1831-1862, 1870-1875.
- Lambton County Clerk of the Peace marriage register (RG 22-2785), 1896-1897
- Leeds and Grenville United Counties Clerk of the Peace marriage register (RG 22-2985), 1950-1956 (access to these records is restricted under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act)
- Perth County Clerk of the Peace baptism, marriage and death records (RG 22-4286), 1853-1871, 1896-1899
- Western District Clerk of the Peace marriage bonds (RG 22-1818) 1826-1828, 1835
The following municipal fonds include birth, marriage and death records:
- County of Haldimand fonds (F 1693): register of births, deaths and marriages, 1851-1869; registers of births, marriages and death 1870-1872;
- United Counties of Leeds and Grenville fonds (F 1740): register of births (1859-1873), register of marriages (1869-1873), register of death (1870-1873), index to births, marriages and deaths (1870-1873);
- Township of Middleton fonds (F 1779): vital statistics, 1890-1920;
- Township of Moore fonds (F 1787): vital statistics, ca. 1870-1900;
- Township of Morrison fonds (F 1789): vital statistics records, 1895-1949;
- Township of Muskoka fonds (F 1795): vital statistics records, 1892-1929;
- Town of Niagara fonds (F 1802): vital statistics records, 1848-1910;
- Pittsburgh Township fonds (F 1867): registers of births and death, (1872-1891), register of marriages (1869-1891);
- Township of Raleigh fonds (F 1789): vital statistics 1873-1948;
- Township of Ryde fonds (F 1897): vital statistics, 1878-1884, 1914-1929;
- Township of South Walsingham fonds (F 1933): vital statistics, 1879-1920;
- Township of Stephenson fonds (F 1938): register of births, deaths and marriages, 1896-1919;
- Storrington Township fonds (F 1949): register of marriage licenses, 1922-1949;
- Waterloo County fonds (F 1988): returns of marriages dispatched to the county clerk, 1858-1869;
- Whitby Township fonds (F 2012): register of births, marriages and deaths, 1895-1908.
Consult a reference archivist for information on how to access these records.
Upper & Lower Canada Marriage Bonds 1779-1865
Most bonds are in the custody of Library and Archives Canada. They hold the alphabetical indexes to these bonds for Lower Canada (Québec) and Upper Canada (Ontario), as well as the bonds. These records are available on self-serve microfilm at the Archives of Ontario (see Module 1 for more detail regarding marriage bonds), and Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.
The collection of marriage bonds for Lower Canada (Québec) is 1779-1858, and for Upper Canada (Ontario), 1803-1865.
Microfilm containing copies of the nominal card index as well as microfilmed copies of the bonds can be borrowed through the inter-institutional loan arrangement. The nominal card index appears on the following microfilm reels:
Index to Upper Canada Marriage Bonds (RG5 B9)
H-1126 ABBAH, Hester to GRANT, Richard
H-1127 GRANT, Robert to PATTENSON, Thomas
H-1128 PATTERSON, Ann to ZENS, Charles
This index gives name, date and place. At the start of each index reel you will find a list of microfilm reel numbers on which the bonds themselves appear, arranged alphabetically by the groom’s surname within each year.
A searchable database of Upper and Lower Canada Marriage Bonds is available on the Library and Archives Canada website.
The Archives of Ontario has a few collections of marriage licenses: 1853-1911 MS 286 and also MS 326, MU 2006, MU 3391 and MU 3392.
Perhaps the records you would be most interested in are located at a church archives or they may be still located at the local church. You will have to check on the availability and accessibility of these registers or records and then you can set up your research plan accordingly.
By consulting the Checklist of Parish Registers 1986, published by Library and Archives Canada, you will be able to see what is available for inter-institutional loan from their holdings. You may borrow these microfilms through your library and read them locally. This checklist is for all the provinces and should be consulted in order to obtain the microfilm number.
As well, check ARCHEION, Ontario’s Information Network . This is a gateway to search descriptions of archival holdings of member institutions, including many church archives.
As mentioned in the introduction, local newspapers provide a good source of information regarding a record of a birth, marriage or death. To begin, you should refer to Inventory of Ontario Newspapers, 1793-1986 by J. Brian Gilchrist. This will help you focus your search and determine if there were newspapers published during your search period and where they are now.
See also the Newspapers page on Library and Archives Canada for lists of newspapers on microform and those which have nominal indexes:
Another source of data available to help locate the dates and/or whereabouts of your ancestors would be religious newspapers. The churches published religious newspapers that included the notices of births, marriages and deaths. The late William D. Reid’s Marriage Notices of Ontario is based on extracts from many different newspapers and periodicals dating from 1813 to 1854. Reid’s Death Notices of Ontario and Thomas B Wilson’s Ontario Marriage Notices are similar compilations. Both of these books are available and searchable on Ancestry.ca (subscription site).
The Reverend Donald A. McKenzie has extracted various types of notices from the following Methodist newspapers. These extracts are published in book form:
- Death Notices from the Christian Guardian 1836-1850
- Death Notices from the Christian Guardian 1851-1860
- Obituaries from Ontario Christian Guardian, 1861-1870
- Death Notices from the Canada Christian Advocate 1858-1872
- More Notices from Methodist Papers, 1830-1857
- More Notices from Ontario’s Methodist Papers 1858-1872
- Obituaries from Ontario’s Christian Guardian 1873-1880
- More Obituaries from Ontario’s Methodist Newspapers 1873-1884
There are other notices to be found indexed in the series of books compiled by Thomas B. Wilson and published by Hunterdon House of Lambertville, New Jersey, known as The Ontario Register. These are a series of 8 volumes containing notices from early newspapers as listed below. The date following the title is the date of publication not the dates of the notices.
There is also a CD available with this information on it: CD#204 from Broderbund Software, Inc., Family Tree Maker, called Genealogical Records: The Ontario Register, 1780’s-1870’s. The CD also includes the contents of four other publications listed below which are important to research of vital statistics. It will search for a name throughout the entire disk and give you an exact replica of the page of the book that the entry was on. The following is a list of the contents of this CD.
The Ontario Register, 1780s-1870s
Thomas B. Wilson
- The Ontario Register, Volume 1, 1968
- The Ontario Register, Volume 2, 1969
- The Ontario Register, Volume 3, 1970
- The Ontario Register, Volume 4, 1971
- The Ontario Register, Volume 5, 1981
- The Ontario Register, Volume 6, 1982
- The Ontario Register, Volume 7, 1983-1984
- The Ontario Register, Volume 8, 1990
- Ontarian Families: Genealogies of United Empire Loyalists and other Pioneer Families of Upper Canada, Volumes 1 and 2, Edward Marion Chadwick, 1970
- Marriage Bonds of Ontario, 1803-1834, Thomas B. Wilson, 1985.
- Marriage Notices of Ontario, William D. Reid, 1980.
- Ontario Marriage Notices, Thomas B. Wilson, 1982.
- Death Notices of Ontario, William D. Reid, 1980.
- The Loyalists in Ontario: The Sons and Daughters of the American Loyalists of Upper Canada, William D. Reid, 1973.
- The Old United Empire Loyalists List, 1885
- Directory of the Province of Ontario 1857 with a Gazetteer, 1987
The books are still available and you may be able to find them at your library. Some may be inter-institutionally loaned and you can then search them manually. Many are available through genealogy book-sellers.
The original newspapers such as the Christian Guardian (Wesleyan Methodist), can be viewed at the United Church Archives in Toronto and Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. Contact information can be found elsewhere in this section.
The United Church Archives has card indexes, arranged annually, to the notices and obituaries in the following papers:
- Primitive Methodists, Christian Journal 1860-1883 and The Evangelist 1848-1851;
- New Connexion, Christian Messenger 1845-1847 and Evangelical Witness 1873-1874;
- Methodist Episcopal, Bible Christian Observer 1867-1884;
- Wesleyan, Christian Guardian 1829-1854, 1857-1923;
- United Church of Canada, The New Outlook 1925-1937
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