Ontario Deaths and Overseas Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Ontario Deaths 1869-1947 .
Collection Time Period
This collection includes death records from July 1869 through 1937 and overseas deaths of Ontario military personnel, 1939-1947.
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
Deaths were recorded in Ontario to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.
The information pertaining to death is usually reliable. This includes the cause of death, the name of the attending physician or medical professional, the name and address of the funeral home, and the exact date and place of burial. The accuracy of other information depends on the reliability of the informant (often a family member).
Registrations were kept on printed forms and then bound into volumes. The entries are arranged chronologically by date of registration.
- Important genealogical information in Ontario civil deaths:
- Death date and registration date.
- Beginning in 1908, the place of death; before 1908, the place of death was implied by the divisions and county where the event was registered.
- Birthplace of the deceased; beginning in 1908, the birthplace of the parents.
- Name of the deceased.
- Before 1908, name of the informant.
- Beginning in 1908, the full name of the father and maiden name of the mother.
- Registrations for 1907–1908 may include either the spouse's name (if married) or the father's name (if single).
- Prior to 1908, a relationship to the informant (often a relative).
- Former residence of the deceased, 1896–1906.
- Residence of the informant, 1869–1896.
How to Use the Record
Death registrations are the best source of death information for an individual. These records may list a person's age, occupation, religious affiliation, and birthplace. You can use this information to then search for additional records. In addition, death records may provide clues for searching for other individuals, ones related to your ancestor. Usually the person who provided the death information was a child or other relative of the deceased. Death registrations after 1907 list the names and birthplaces of parents. Use this information to begin compiling a family group and to extend your lineage.
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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:
Archives of Ontario. RG 80-8. Registrations of deaths, 1869-1937.
Archives of Ontario. RG 80-10. Indexes to deaths.
Archives of Ontario. RG 80-21. Registrations of Ontario overseas deaths, 1939-1947.
How to Cite Your Sources
Instructions for citing this source can be found at: Cite Your Sources (Source Footnotes)