Title and statement of responsibility area
Baptismal, marriage and burial church registers
General material designation
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the series.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
Microfilmed 1946 (originally created 1849-1903) (Creation)
- British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency
Physical description area
1 microfilm reel
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
The British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency (BCVSA) is responsible for determining and registering births, deaths and marriages and for issuing certificates related to these events. The agency also performs civil marriage ceremonies through private marriage commissioners, issues marriage licences, administers legal changes of name, files and searches for wills notices, performs genealogical tracing, and maintains a special purpose registry for registering cases of congenital anomalies and various handicapping conditions. In addition, the agency provides statistical and research services for various government programs, universities and special interest research groups. The registration of births, deaths and marriages in British Columbia was entrusted to the Registrar General of Titles under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act of 1872 (SBC 1872, c. 26). Until 1911 the Registrar reported to the Department of the Attorney General, except for the years 1899 to 1901 when the office was under the Department of the Provincial Secretary. In 1911 the Registrar General of Titles became the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages under the Provincial Board of Health, which reported to the Department of the Provincial Secretary. The Vital Statistics Branch was created within the Provincial Board of Health under the control of the Provincial Health Officer in 1933, and was renamed the Division of Vital Statistics in 1936. The Division of Vital Statistics became the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency in 1996. The Provincial Board of Health was removed from the Department of the Provincial Secretary to become the Department of Health and Welfare in 1946. It was subsequently renamed the Department of Health and Hospital Insurance (1959), the Department of Health (1973), and the Ministry of Health (1976). The Division of Vital Statistics remained part of this organization throughout these changes.
Microfilm copies were made of church’s original baptism records for the Vital Statistics Agency. One microfilm reel was transferred to the archives from Vital Statistics on 2016-05-30.
Scope and content
The series consists of copies of British Columbia baptism, marriage and death registers created by churches that conducted the ceremonies. Currently only records (baptisms 1849-1899; marriages 1864-1903) of St. Andrews Cathedral, Victoria , are available.
Churches were required to submit their baptismal registers to the Vital Statistics Division in the 1940s so the registers could be microfilmed. Vital Statistics subsequently created an alphabetical index to the microfilmed registers, and a database was created from the index volumes with supplementary information from the microfilmed registers added to the entries. This information is searchable via the BC Archives Genealogy database. The microfilm copies of the original registers may include some additional information or context that was not included in the database.
Each bound volume was created by one church. Each entry corresponds with one ceremony, but may involve multiple individuals. The entries within each volume are ordered chronologically and may be numbered. Every volume varies in the type and presentation of information included and may not be consistent throughout one volume. All entries include the date of the ceremony, name of individual(s) involved in the ceremony, and the name of the priest who conducted the ceremony.
Baptism register entries may also include name of child, date of birth, place of birth, sex of child, name and surname of father, name and maiden name of mother, residence of parents, profession of parents, religion of parents, name and surname of grandparents, religion of grandparents, and name and surname of godparents.
Marriage register entries may also include name and surname of groom, name and maiden name of bride, age of bride, age of groom, name and surname of their parents, name and surname of witnesses present, religion of named individuals, place of birth, and signatures of parties involved.
Death register entries may also include: death dates, cause of death, age at death, location of internment and information about the funeral ceremony.
Indigenous people are included in the registers (as Indians or Sauvages). Some Indigenous names are included. Many baptisms of Indigenous people were in groups and may only consist of a list of the Christian names the priest gave to the baptized individuals. Tribal or community affiliations may be included.
Some entries include the geographical location that the ceremony took place. This location may vary from the location of the church, as some priests travelled quite widely to conduct ceremonies.
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script note
Volumes or portions of volumes are in French, Latin and English.
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Microfilm reel B16242 is restricted and is stored in the restricted microfilm cabinet. Researchers should contact the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria for permission to consult the original volume that is in their holdings.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
There is no file list available.
Further accruals are expected.
Archive(s) codes: B16242
Accession number(s): 93-9356
Contents of Reel B16242: Baptismal Register 1849-1871; Baptismal Register 1871-1895; Baptismal Register 1895-1899; Marriages & Baptisms [register]; Marriage Register 1871-1903.
Standard number area
Name access points
- British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency (Subject)