British Columbia Church Records

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British Columbia Research Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
British Columbia Background
Local Research Resources

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The earliest denominations in British Columbia were Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational. Their records can be found in the archives building of British Columbia Information Management Services.

Roman Catholic records for the Diocese of Victoria date from 1864 and from 1892 for the Diocese of Vancouver. The registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials are held in the parishes.

The Anglican Church records date back to 1837 in the Victoria area and to 1859 in the Vancouver area. The registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials are usually held in the parishes.

The Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches were combined in 1925 to form the United Church of Canada. Many of the registers are located at the central archives in Union College, University of British Columbia, or in the parishes and churches.

The British Columbia Archives has an online index of baptisms beginning in 1836.

Anglican Church of Canada[edit | edit source]

The Archives of the Diocese of New Westminster holds parish registers which records baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials. These records are arranged by parish; they are not indexed by name.

Researchers who know the name of the church where an ancestor worshipped will be able to focus their search quite quickly. For those who do not know the name of the church, other information can be useful, such as the name of the priest who officiated an event, approximate or specific dates of events, or geographic location of an individual’s residence when an event took place.

If you plan on attending in person call ahead for confirmation. Archives staff will conduct research for a fee (see the website for details). Contact the archives at:
Anglican Archives of the Diocese of New Westminster Provincial Synod of BC and Yukon
6000 Iona Drive
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1L4
Telephone: 604-822-9583

The Anglican Diocese of New Westminster holdings.

The Provincial Synod of BC and Yukon holdings.

Archives of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia
900 Vancouver Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8V 3V7
Telephone: 250-386-7781 ext. 253
Toll Free: 1-800-582-8627

The Anglican Diocese of British Columbia Archives holdings.

Baptist Church[edit | edit source]

Baptist Church of Canada
(Baptist Union of Western Canada)
This facility is not a central repository of Baptist church records but can direct you to the information you need regarding the individual congregations that hold congregational records.

Regent College, Carey Hall Library
5800 University Boulevard
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 2E4
Telephone: 604-224-3340

Carey Theological College
5920 Iona Drive
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1J6
Telephone: 604-224-4308

Canadian Baptists of Western Canada
Suite 1100, 550 11th Ave. SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 1M7
Telephone: 403-228-9559
Toll free: 1-800-820-2479

Evangelical Lutheran Church[edit | edit source]

Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada
Congregations that have ceased to exist (with this Church) have their records held at this facility. Records such as marriage, baptism, confirmation and burial are all housed here. These records are arranged by congregation so you must know the name of the congregation that your research subject belonged to. Specific written inquires will be answered by staff. All existing congregations hold their own records.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)
302 - 393 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3H6
Telephone: 204-984-9173
Toll free: 1-888-786-6707

British Columbia Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
80 East 10th Avenue
New Westminster, British Columbia V3L 4R5
Telephone: 604-524-1318

Northwest Baptist Theological College Northwest Baptist Theological College/Associated Canadian Theological Schools Library, located at Trinity Western University, houses the archives of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of British Columbia and the Yukon. Its holdings include materials from Baptist groups in British Columbia created as early as the late 1800s.

Issues of the denominational newsletter, The BC Baptist, from 1925 to the present are also held (Bill Badke, personal communication, December 1, 1999). Most of the information found here is in regards to the development and history of this church.

Birth, marriage and death records are not housed at this facility. This religious denomination did not record births or deaths. Marriage records will be found at the local church where the ceremony took place.

Trinity Western University
7600 Glover Road
Langley, British Columbia V2Y 1Y1
Telephone: 604- 513-2121 ext. 3925

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver Chancery Office Archives
For genealogical research individuals should contact local parishes which will normally hold the required records. For information about parishes, contact the Catholic Information centre at (604) 443-3234. Researchers are requested not to contact the Archives by phone looking for research to be done.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver - Archives
150 Robson Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 2A7
Telephone: 604-683-0281 ext. 302

United Church Records[edit | edit source]

The United Church of Canada Archives holds the local church records of the United Church and its uniting denominations (Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian (1925 union); and Evangelical United Brethren—joined in 1968). The records of the churches which did not join at union but remained part of the continuing Presbyterian Church in Canada after 1925 are held in Toronto.

Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives and Records Office
50 Wynford Drive
Toronto, Ontario M3C 1J7
Telephone: 416-441-1111 ext. 310

United Church of Canada Archives
(as of September 16, 2013)
40 Oak Street, Lower Level
Toronto, Ontario M5A 2C6

United Church of Canada - British Columbia Conference Archives
The holdings of this facility include a wide variety of records such as, historic membership rolls, registers of vital events, minutes of church meetings, correspondence and photographs for over 500 congregations across British Columbia. The publication, Guide to Family History Research in the Archival Repositories of the United Church of Canada, is available from the United Church and may be useful to researchers interested in such records (United Church of Canada BC Conference Archives).

Bob Stewart Archives
BC Conference, United Church of Canada
6000 Iona Drive
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1L4
Telephone: 604-822-9589

Aboriginal Records[edit | edit source]

The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society holds some records of relevance to aboriginal genealogical research including baptismal records, oral histories and family groupings documents.

Secwepemc Cultural EducationSociety
274A Halston Connector Road
Kamloops, British Columbia V2H 1H1
Telephone: 778-471-5789

There are some materials useful for aboriginal genealogical research including census records, lists of registered Indians and Hudson’s Bay Company finding aids at the Union of British Columbian Indian Chiefs Resource Center.

Union of BC Indian Chiefs
500 - 342 Water Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1B6
Telephone: 604-684-0231

Genealogical Societies[edit | edit source]

There is no “umbrella” genealogy organization on a provincial scale, but the following should be helpful:

British Columbia Genealogical Society
BCGS Walter Draycott Library
Unit 211, 12837 - 76th Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia
Telephone: 604-502-9119

Victoria Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 45031, Victoria North P.O.
Victoria, British Columbia V8X 3G2
Telephone: 250-360-2808

Other societies are active throughout the province, for example, Campbell River, Powell River, Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon, Nanaimo and others. Links to their pages can be found on the BCGS website.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Murphy, Sharon L. "British Columbia Church Records (National Institute)," The National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012),