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The Challenge of Locating Vital Records in Ontario / Upper Canada / Canada West
Posted: January 11, 1998 - Updated 06 December 2012
By: Fawne Stratford-Devai & Ruth Burkholder


A Four Part Series

There are very distinct periods of official record keeping in the province of Ontario at various time periods. The purpose of this resource is to highlight how vital records were recorded during these distinct time periods of our history and to provide some hints as to where to look when you cannot search the parish registers or other records in person. With this knowledge, genealogists searching for the elusive needle in the haystack will have a little better understanding of what records were required to be kept and therefore will be better able to make an informed judgement about where surviving records could possibly be found.

  • Part One examines official Civil Registration records available from 1869 to the present


  • Part Two details vital records information available during the time period 1858 - 1869.


  • Part Three highlights the earlier vital records available during the time period of pre-1858 of Upper Canada and Canada West.


  • Part Four provides an overview of additional sources of information to use when searching for vital records during the early days when the Province of Ontario was known as Upper Canada.



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