Series GR-3258 - Baptismal, marriage and burial church registers

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Baptismal, marriage and burial church registers

General material designation

  • microform

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the series.

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Series

Reference code

GR-3258

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Edition statement of responsibility

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • Microfilmed 1946 (originally created 1849-1903) (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency

Physical description area

Physical description

1 microfilm reel

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1996-)

Biographical history

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.

Custodial history

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.

Notes area

Physical condition

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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

No access restrictions apply.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

There is no file list available.

Associated materials

Related materials

Accruals

Further accruals are expected.

General note

Archive(s) codes: B16242
Accession number(s): 93-9356

General note

Contents of Reel B16242: Baptismal Register 1849-1871; Baptismal Register 1871-1895; Baptismal Register 1895-1899; Marriages & Baptisms [register]; Marriage Register 1871-1903.

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