How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Manitoba, Canada
Guide to Manitoba ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth, marriage, and death records found in civil registration, census records, church records, and cemetery records.
|Manitoba Research Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
Birth, death, and marriage information is the foundation for describing your family history. It defines the life span of individual ancestors, and links both generations and ancestral lines. Your four best sources for locating this information are these record groups:
- Civil registration
You will find some of these records online in digital form. Others are available on microfilms available through Family History Centers. Correspondence searches are required for records kept in centralized archives or in the original offices that created them. This article gives you links and instructions for accessing these important record groups in their various forms.
- 1 Civil Registration
- 2 Census Records
- 3 Church Records
- 4 Cemetery Records
- 5 FamilySearch Microfilm Available for Manitoba
- 6 References
A government civil registration system registers births, marriages, and deaths. Also included may be name changes, divorces, and adoptions. Certificates are issued for each event. The Vital Statistics Agency, a Special Operating Agency under The Special Operating Agencies Financing Authority Act, performs this function.
In addition to Manitoba registrations, civil divorces were granted by private acts of the Parliament of Canada from 1867 to 1919.
Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency
254 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0B6
Toll Free: 1-866-949-9296
Genealogy Webpage: The Agency database contains information from vital event records from 1882 to present. You can request a genealogical search for:
- Births less than 100 years ago
- Marriages less than 80 years ago
- Deaths less than 70 years ago
Genealogical Search Application Form. If the Agency locates the requested record, you receive a certified photocopy. If the record is not located, a Search Receipt is issued stating that there is no record for the years searched.
Vital Statistics Agency Collections at Ancestry.com ($)
- Web: Manitoba, Canada, Birth Index, 1866-1912
- Web: Manitoba, Marriage Index, 1879-1931
- Web: Manitoba, Death Index, 1881-1943
Other Ancestry.com Collections ($)
- Canada Parliamentary Marriage and Divorces, 1867-1919
- Canada, War Graves Registers (Circumstances of Casualty), 1914-1948. The collection can be browsed by province.
- Canada, Obituary Collection, 1898-2015 ($). This collection of substitute vital information was compiled from hundreds of newspapers.
- Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police obituary card index and notices, 1876-2007
- All JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry
Archives of Manitoba
130-200 Vaughan St.
Winnipeg, MB R3C 1T5
Toll Free (Manitoba only): 1-800-617-3588
In addition to the following collection, see "Censuses of Other Early Settlements" below for other Archives of Manitoba records.
- Partial index of Manitoba soldiers killed in the First World War: Includes over 1000 entries.
- Manitoba Deaths 1878-1886: Abstracted from The Dominion Annual Register and Review.
A census is a count and description of the population. Census records can provide family relationships, age, year of birth, description of property, religion, and place of birth. They can provide information missing from other records. Use census information with caution because information may be incorrect or deliberately falsified.
Manitoba became a province in 1870, so it was first included in the Canadian census in 1881. In 1906 the first Prairie Provinces Census was taken. This was one year after the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta were created, and Manitoba borders redefined.
Online Canada Census Indexes and Images
|Online National and Provincial Population Schedules of Canada|
|Free||Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card)*||Pay|
|Automated Genealogy||Library Archives Canada||Ancestry FHL||Ancestry Library||Ancestry Home|
|1916 Prairie Provinces||indexes||Link||-||Link||Link||Link||Link|
|1906 Prairie Provinces||indexes||Link||Link||Link||Link||Link||Link|
|Family Search||Automated Genealogy||Library Archives Canada||Ancestry FHL||Ancestry Library||Ancestry Home|
|Free||Free at Some Libraries (usually with a library card)||Pay|
Censuses of the Red River Settlement (1827–1856, 1870)
The Red River Settlement was located in the Red and Assiniboine Rivers area. Censuses for 1827-1856 were taken by or for the Hudson's Bay Company. The 1870 census was taken under the direction of Canada's Department of Agriculture.
The online FamilySearch Manitoba Census Indexes, 1831-1870 browse collection contains images of typed card indexes to the census returns. The entire collection (1831-1870) can be browsed, or the 1870 census by itself. Names are divided into alphabetical groups to facilitate browsing. Click on the "Learn more" link located under the collection description for detailed information.
Censuses of Other Early Settlements
Descriptions of early settlement censuses can be located by searching the Archives of Manitoba's online Keystone Archives Descriptive Database. A "census"search leads to descriptions of 24 groups of archival records dated from 1705-1941. Some include censuses of Hudson's Bay Company officers and men as well as the aboriginal population. Most are on microfilm that is available at the Manitoba Archives; Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa; and the National Archives, Kew, England. Microfilm may also be purchased or borrowed through an inter-institutional loan program.
Church records may include baptisms, marriages, burials, membership lists, finances, business, and other records for a particular congregation. They may be available online or on microfilm, but frequently have not been copied.
Original records may still be with the local church or in centralized archives by religion. To determine which church archive to consult, check census records for the person's religion.
For help with writing a letter requesting copies of records, see Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy.
Links to Church Archives
- Anglican church archives
- Baptist church archives
- Jewish archives
- Lutheran church archives
- Mennonite church archives
- Ukrainian Greek Orthodox church archives
- Presbyterian church archives
- Roman Catholic church archives
- United Church of Canada archives
- Manitoba Church Records, 1800-1959: Baptisms, marriages, deaths and other records from some Catholic, Lutheran, and Unitarian parishes in Manitoba. Click on the "Learn more" link under the collection description for detailed information. (Images)
- Canada, births and baptisms, 1661-1959 (Index)
- Mennonite Church Records, all congregations (Index)
- Mennonite Church Records, Sommerfelder congregation (Index)
The Kipling Collection
- Births, Marriages and Deaths Recorded in Canada (Index): This Library and Archives Canada database includes, among other records, all information from about 4,000 index cards of the Kipling Collection (after selecting the foregoing link, scroll to the Kipling Collection section). Included is information from three Red River area parish registers:
- St. John’s Anglican Church marriages and burials between 1820 and 1882.
- St. Andrew’s Anglican Church marriages and burials between 1835 and 1884.
- St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church baptisms, marriages, and burials between 1824 and 1834.
- Use the collection Finding Aid in conjunction with searching this index. As explained on pages vi-vii, the Finding Aid provides an alphabetical list of family names in the Parish Registers, together with corresponding information from the Kipling Genealogical Studies. (Genealogical Studies information is not included in the online index.) Searching the index for parish register information is a two-step process:
- A search for a family name that appears in the Finding Aid yields four results parameters for each family having that name: A hyperlinked "Item Number," "Surname," head of household's "Given Name," and "Parish."
- Clicking on the "Item Number" yields the birth, marriage, or death information from the parish register.
- Copies of index cards can be ordered from Library and Archives Canada. (You should not expect the cards to have information in addition to the online records.)
See Manitoba Cemeteries for detailed information about cemetery research.
Manitoba Genealogical Society (MGS) Inc.
Unit E - 1045 St. James Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
The Society has transcribed and indexed records for over 1400 Manitoba cemeteries. Membership is required to access the online database (included in "Online Cemetery Records" below). Printed transcripts can be ordered by mail or email:
Online Cemetery Records
- Manitoba Name Index (MANI) ($) Manitoba Genealogical Society database of names from cemetery records.
- Canada GenWeb Cemetery Index. Also available at Ancestry. ($)
- Manitoba Canada Cemetery Records
- Find A Grave indexed entries may include photographs, portraits, biographies, and stories.
- Canada, CEF Commonwealth War Graves Registers, 1914-1919 ($)
- Canada Headstones.com (Manitoba): Index available at Ancestry ($) and FamilySearch
- Kelwood Cemetery Inscriptions
- St. Francis Xavier, Manitoba, Burials 1834-1865
- Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, burial search.
- St. Vital Cemetery, Winnipeg, burial search.
- Transcona Cemetery, Winnigeg, burial search.
- City of Portage la Prairie Cemetery burial search.
- Yukon Lost Graves of Manitobans.
- Rosenhoff Cemetery Records (Near Morris).
- Rosedale Cemetery Records
- Brandon Cemetery Records
FamilySearch Microfilm Available for Manitoba
Microfilm copies of additional church and cemetery records may be identified by searching the online FamilySearch Catalog. To see all the Manitoba localities for which records have been identified in the Catalog, Click Here, then click on "Places within Canada, Manitoba."
- Select a locality to see what types of records are available.
- Click on the "Church records" type to see specific collection titles.
- Choose the title that reflects the correct religion and time period for your ancestor.
- Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the microfilm listed for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the microfilm is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the microfilm.
- Follow the same procedure for "Cemeteries."
- FamilySearch, a free online service of the Family History Library. For a full description of FamilySearch collections, after opening the collection click on the "Learn more" link just below the brief collection description.
- Automated Genealogy, a free online service includes links to free images found at the Library and Archives Canada.
- Library Archives Canada, a free online service includes links to free images and partial indexes found at the Library and Archives Canada.
- Ancestry FHL: Ancestry.com is a subscription site that provides online indexes and images to all surviving national and many provincial census records, among other ancestral records. The FHL edition is free only at the Family History Library and local family history centers.
- Ancestry Library edition of Ancestry.com is a slightly smaller library edition that is free only at some public libraries.
- Home Edition of Ancestry.com is a subscription service for individuals.