British Columbia Marriage Registrations - FamilySearch Historical Records

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British Columbia Marriage Registrations, 1859-1932; 1937-1938
CID1307718
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
British Columbia, Canada
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Flag of British Columbia
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Location of British Columbia, Canada
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Record Description
Record Type Marriages
Collection years 1859-1938 (1933-1937 not included)
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
British Columbia Division of Vital Statistics, Victoria

What is in This Collection?

This collection includes records from 1859 to 1932, 1937 and 1938. The set contains 8 volumes but v. A1 (A to J surnames, 1859-1872, British Columbia mainland) was missing at the time of filming and is not included in this set. The only persons excluded from the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Act of 1872 were Chinese and Aboriginals. This was changed by an amendment in 1897, stating the registration would apply to all races. These restrictions did not apply to pre-confederation marriages. Early registration records are very incomplete chiefly due to the fact that a majority of the population lived great distances from the registry offices and communication was difficult. The coverage of these records is small.

The pre-confederation marriages occurred in the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island and were submitted to the Colonial Secretary by clergy. The two colonies were united in 1866 prior to the entry of British Columbia into the Confederation of Canada. British Columbia became a province of Canada in July 1871. The registration of vital events began in 1872.

The marriage registrations, begun in 1872, are recorded on individual, printed forms. They consist of completed statements regarding marriages submitted to district registrars and registered by the director of Vital Statistics. Note that these forms are not marriage certificates but registrations of marriages. Marriage certificates contain information from the original registration records and are only available through the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency. The records prior to 1872 are pre-confederation (or colonial) marriage records.

Pre-confederation marriages were gathered and registration of marriages begun in order to keep a written record for use by the government. Pre-confederation records consist of certified marriage certificates, or returns of marriages, submitted by clergy of various denominations, as well as typed certified extracts (ca. 1933) from marriage registers maintained by churches and missions.

Marriage registrations were registered by the Director of Vital Statistics and include delayed registrations of marriages (1933-1977), registrations of Indian marriages (1917 -1956); and registrations of Doukhobour marriage (1959 - 1982). Registration images are arranged in order of registration number, which is often a red sequential number in the upper right-hand corner of the image. An alphabetical index by last name of groom has a "finding number" listed which is used to find the individual registration number.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

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For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Marriage

  • Names of bride and groom
  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Residences when married
  • Places of birth
  • Marital status
  • Names of parents (father’s name only in most pre-confederation records)
  • Names of witnesses and their residences
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Religious denominations of bride and groom
  • Name of person performing the marriage
  • Whether marriage was by license or by banns

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at British Columbia Marriage Registrations Digital Folder Number List.


How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

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

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Film number to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

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.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Cite the record. See below for help citing this collection
  • Look at an image of the original record. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index. To find a copy of the original record, visit the British Columbia Division of Vital Statistics, Victoria page
  • To help keep track of your research, you may want to keep a research log. FamilySearch has an example example research log which you can download

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Consult the British Columbia Record Finder to find other records
  • 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, especially French versions
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
  • Search the indexes and records of British Columbia, Canada Genealogy
  • Search in the British Columbia Archives and Libraries
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in British Columbia.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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 Historical Records.

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