Ontario Deaths and Overseas Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Ontario Deaths,1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947 .

Record Description

Registrations were kept on printed forms and then bound into volumes. The entries are arranged chronologically by date of registration.

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. 

This collection includes death records from July 1869 through 1937 and overseas deaths of Ontario military personnel, 1939-1947.

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).

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records. 

Registrar General. Ontario deaths, and overseas deaths. Archives of Ontario.

The sources of this collection are located in the Archives in 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.

Record Content

Important genealogical information in Ontario civil deaths included:

  • Death 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)
  • Age
  • Sex
  • 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 Records

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 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.

Related Websites

Deaths Registrations for Ontario

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947." database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 1 April 2011).  Richard Charles Brown,  28 August 1915;  citing Death Records,  FHL microfilm 1,862,174;  Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.