British Columbia Vital Records

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Online Indexes[edit | edit source]

The following links provide further information:

Births[edit | edit source]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

British Columbia became a province of Canada in 1871. Provincewide registration of birth, marriage, and death records began in 1872. A few records were made for events which took place before 1872 but were registered later. Many births, marriages, and deaths were not registered in the early years, and not all British Columbians were included in registration. Vital records began to be kept more systematically in 1920.

Availability Vital records of births more than 120 years old (and up to 1903), marriages more than 75 years old, and deaths more than 20 years old are available online and on microfilm. Vital records that are more recent must be requested on forms available from the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency.

Some births, marriages, and deaths not recorded in vital records may be in church records. British Columbia vital records are restricted for many years before they can be made public:

  • Birth records, 120 years. (But years up to 1903 are available as they were before the legislation was changed.)
  • Marriage records, 75 years.
  • Death records, 20 years.

For additional information about vital records in Canada, including research strategies, see Canada Vital Records.

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

British Columbia Archives - Royal British Columbia Museum
Birth (1854-1903), Marriage (1872-1936), Death (1872-1992) Online index with some registration page images - free. This online index includes World War Two Overseas Casualties for the years 1940 to 1945 (3,423 names). Online indexes with some registration page images - free.

     British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency

818 Fort Street
Victoria, BC V8W 1H8
Phone: 250–952–2681
Fax: 250–952–2587

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 9657
Victoria, BC V8W 9P3

Vancouver Public Library
350 W. Georgia St.
Vancouver, BC V6B 6B1
Phone: 604–331–3740 (newspapers, magazines)
Phone: 604–331–3710 (history, government, genealogy)
Fax: 604–331–3744

Cloverdale Library
5642 - 176A Street
Surrey, BC V3S 4G9
Phone: 604-598-7320
Copies of vital records are 50 cents per copy in person or $5 if ordered by mail or e-mail.

     Family History Library[1]

Many births, marriages, and deaths are listed in the Master Index Card File, British Columbia Genealogical Society. (BCGS) The BCGS card index of over 100,000 names giving mainly births, marriages and deaths compiled from cemetery transcriptions, church records, published histories and misc. sources for ca. 1850-ca. 1986 is available at the Society's Walter Draycott Library in Surrey, BC, Canada. 

Originals of the BCGS Master Index Card File, then over 51,000 records, were filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986–7 at the British Columbia Genealogical Society, Richmond, BC.

British Columbia films of death registers are no longer available at the Family History Library. See the free online index and images listed above in Finding the Records - British Columbia Archives-Royal British Columbia Museum and in the FamilySearch collections listed below.

Wiki articles describing these collections are found at: