Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Birth Marriage Death Records

In Canada, BMDs are better known as Vital Statistics. Do keep this in mind when searching for these records on the internet. 

To my UK readers, please take note: Unlike the UK, (whose country wide civil registration began in 1837) dates of Canadian vital statistics registration vary from province to province. Search provincial government websites to order a certificate or use the search function on their databases. The records are not held in a central repository with the Government of Canada. 

The Archives of Alberta spells this out very clearly: 1) you will need to search an (provincial) index  2) you will need to fill out a request form and pay a fee for a certificate (this fee varies from province to province). 3) Please be aware that there will be some restrictions on the access to the certificates.

As well, this is not a recommended starting point to find elusive ancestors in Canada, it is advisable to find the province they settled in or the province they arrived in. Please see the index (link at the bottom of this article) which will help you understand the resources available in each province. 

Alberta - please click on the comment link to see updated information about Alberta's BMDs provided by Shannon Cherkowski. 

!!NEW!! - An article by John D. Althouse, Clandigger Editor Very Good! A detailed explanation of the Vital Statistics at the Provincial Archives of Alberta

Provincial Archives of Alberta - How to find BMDs

Gov't of Alberta Vital Statistics -  links to other provincial websites

Manitoba - - Scroll down the page for the search box.

New Brunswick -New Brunswick Archives Federated Search  
!!NEW!! - New Brunswick Index to Births search -
Newfoundland -

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia -
Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics BMDs

Nunavut -  BMDs before 01/04/1999 will be found under the NWT Vital Statistics.

Ontario -

Prince Edward Island -

Quebec -

Saskatchewan -

Yukon -

UK to Canada Genealogy Index Page
all links checked 16 Nov.2017


  1. Hi Penny,
    Great blog! In Alberta, access to Vital Statistics is going through a change. Have a look at the Provincial Archives of Alberta website - Genealogists section

    Access in house to the vital statistic registers changed late last year. The registers, that I suspect you viewed on your visit there, are no longer viewable by the public. As sad as it is to see such things come to an end, there are positives to this change. Birth registrations older than 120 years, Marriage registrations over 75 years, and Death registrations over 50 years are available and one can order photocopies. Registrations contain a mountain of information, much more than the registers we previously viewed and much more than certificates do. If anyone has questions, they should direct them to the Provincial Archives of Alberta Hope this helps your viewers.

  2. If you have ethnic ancestors in Manitoba, the indexing is terrible if the clerk's writing is not clear or he didn't ask how the name was spelled (and many immigrants were illiterate or couldn't speak English). And especially if the indexer was not used to English, German or Ukrainian names. It's a pity there is no mechanism to offer corrected spellings.