To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here.

Ontario, Government Birth, Marriage, and Death Records (National Institute)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
National Institute for Genealogical StudiesNational Institute for Genealogical Studies.gif

The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian Vital Statistics Records Part 2  by by Sharon L. Murphy. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Vital Statistic records for Ontario have been kept since July 1869 and are transferred to the Archives of Ontario (and public access) annually, when:

Births are 95 years old
Marriages are 80 years old
Deaths are 70 years old

Earlier marriage returns from clergy from about 1831 are housed at the provincial archives.

The registrations of births, marriage and deaths after those dates are still in the custody of the Office of the Registrar General, under the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. From their website or mailing address or by phone, you can obtain an application form which also spells out the eligibility requirements for any certificate and the current fees. Application forms can also be obtained from and submitted to many Land Registry Offices within the province.

There are three types of items that may be applicable:

  • a certificate is a “short” form with name, date and place of the event,
  • a certified copy is a “long” form which contains all of the original information, 
  • a confirmation letter merely acknowledges whether or not the record is on file.

Anyone is eligible to ask for a confirmation letter, which also has a fee. The genealogically desirable long form is only available to the parties named on the record, or when the parties on the record are deceased, a next-of-kin or legal representative of the estate are eligible. Generally, next-of-kin includes parent, spouse, child or sibling. If all next-of-kin are deceased, an extended next-of-kin is eligible to apply. Next-of-kin and extended next-of-kin are now clearly defined on the application forms.

Office of the Registrar General
P.O. Box 4600
189 Red River Road, 3rd Floor
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6L8
Telephone (Toronto and outside Ontario): 416-325-8305
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-461-2156


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Canadian Vital Statistics Records Part 2offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.