Ontario Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)
Collection Time Period
This collection includes birth records from 1869 through 1912
Important biographical information found in these birth records:
• When the child was born
• Child’s name
• Sex (M. for male or F. for female)
• Name and surname of the father
• Name and maiden surname of the mother
• Signature description and residence of the informant
• Where the birth was registered
• Name of accoucheur (doctor or midwife attending the birth)
• County were the record was created
How to Use the Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the birth records. Compare the information in the birth record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:
• Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
• Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
• The father’s occupation can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
• The parents’ birthplaces can indicate former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
If you want to find more information about the family, it is often helpful to extract the information from the records of all the children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
Keep in mind:
• The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
• Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
• There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.
A provincial act to register births, marriages, and deaths went into effect on July 1, 1869. This act created the Office of the Registrar General, and in each county or incorporated city or town, a clerk of the peace acted as the district registrar. Each municipality (city, village, town, township, or district) had a division registrar who sent all their books to a district registrar. This district registrar then transmitted the records to the registrar general at the provincial level. In 1875, the office of district registrar was eliminated, and the division registrars began sending their registrations directly to the registrar general.
In 1896, the process was altered. Division registrars received a copy of the registration forms from the person who reported the event. These forms were then indexed and entered into new registers. The division registrar made a copy of the form and every six months sent them to the Office of the Registrar General. After 1908, the division registrar made two copies of the original forms, who then kept one locally and sent the other quarterly to the registrar general. Later, the registrar general began indexing the registers.
Why this Record Was Created
Births were recorded in Ontario to better serve public health needs and to provide demographic and personal identification
Civil registrations of births were official records and are some of the most reliable sources of information available for those who were born in Ontario
Registrations were kept on printed forms and then bound into volumes. The entries are arranged chronologically by date of registration.
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Related Wiki Articles
Ontario Civil Registration-Vital Records
Sources of this Collection
The sources of this collection are located in the Archives on Ontario and the following citations follow their preferred citation style
How to Cite Your Sources
Instructions for citing this source can be found at: Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)
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