Vital Records

Vital records or civil registration records are issued by government agencies and include birth certificates, marriage certificates or licenses, divorce records and death certificates.

Registrations of births, marriages and deaths (BMDs) in Ontario began in 1869. As these records are considered private for a number of years, not all records are available to the public. Birth records remain private for 97 years, marriages for 82 years and death records for 72 years. These records become public domain as they are released by the Registrar General to the Archives of Ontario. Records are available online for the dates indicated below through or A subscription is required to access unless accessed through Ancestry Library Edition at a local library or a LDS Family History Centre. Records are also available on microfilm through inter-library loan from Archives of Ontario.

Note:  As a result of a change in regulations, birth registrations and indexes for 1918 and later will not be available until 104 years after the date of registration. Thus 1918 birth registrations and indexes will not be available until 2023.

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Record TypeFamilySearch.orgAncestry.comArchives of Ontario
Marriage1869-1927ca. 1801-1928, 1933-1934ca. 1801-1932
Death1869-19271869-1938, 1939-1947
Overseas deaths
1869-1942, 1939-1947
Overseas deaths

In order to locate most birth, marriage and death (BMD) registrations at the Archives of Ontario, the Archive’s Vital Statistics Index must first be consulted to find the registration number and registration year.  Be sure to check if the registration year is different from the year of the event.  This information is required as the microfilms of the original records are arranged by registration year and then by number.

The Archive’s Vital Statistics Indexes are also available on microfilm at the Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA) and through the Guelph Public Library for the following years.  It is also possible to arrange to borrow microfilm from the Archives of Ontario through your public library.

IndexWCMAGuelph Public Library
Birth Indexes1869-19141869-1914
Marriage Indexes1860-19291860-1929
Death Indexes1869-19391869-1939