Newfoundland, Vital Statistics (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Newfoundland and Labrador
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Newfoundland Vital Statistics, 1753-1893
This article describes a collection of records at
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
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Location of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years 1753-1893
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Newfoundland Vital Statistics Division

What is in This Collection?

This collection contains records dating from 1753 to 1893. The records include images of church record transcripts. These records contain baptisms, marriages, and some burials from many churches in the province. Burial records were not systematically gathered for this collection so only a very small number are found in the collection.

Civil registration started in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1891 and 1892. At that time, all clergy were required to register every baptism, marriage, and burial conducted within their jurisdiction. Prior to 1891, no central registry existed, so the only record of a baptism, marriage, or burial was the one held by the church. During the 1930s and 1940s, Sir John Charles Puddester was disturbed that the original parish registers were in bad condition and some of the records had been lost in fires and other disasters. So, he initiated a program of transcribing the pre-1891 church records. Burial records were not requested, although some churches did submit them. The collection contains mostly Protestant records; only 6 of the 124 volumes are Roman Catholic records. Civil registration did not exist in Newfoundland and Labrador until 1891 or 1892. The Newfoundland Registers of Vital Statics were created in order to gather birth and marriage information from churches for the time period before 1891.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Newfoundland Vital Statistics, 1753-1893.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Child's name
  • Names of parents
  • Date and place of birth
  • Gender of child
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Religious denomination of child
  • Father's occupation


  • Name of groom and bride
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Age of bride and groom
  • Marital Status
  • Occupation
  • Religion Denomination
  • Residence
  • Names of witnesses
  • Officiator at marriage


  • Name of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Age, gender and occupation of deceased
  • Place of birth
  • Religious denomination
  • Burial information

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search it is helpful to know:

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

Search the Index

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

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select District/Municipality/Town
  2. Select Church
  3. Select Record Type and Years to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

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. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • 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 Newfoundland Vital Statistics Division page
  • Use the ages listed to determine approximate birth dates and find the family in additional censuses
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This can help you find possible relatives
  • Search the records of nearby areas
  • Check for other names. An individual might appear under an unexpected name for a variety of reasons:
    • A woman may have returned to her maiden name after the death of her husband
  • Search in the FamilySearch Catalog

Record Finder

Consult the Newfoundland and Labrador Record Finder Table to find other records

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

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
"Newfoundland Vital Statistics, 1753-1893." Database with images. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. Citing Vital Statistics Division. Provincial Archives, St. John's.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.