Series GR-3255 - Divorce court orders

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Divorce court orders

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  • textual record
  • microform

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

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  • 1901-1983 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Division of Vital Statistics

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Physical description

157 Microfilm reels : [B16263-B16419]

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Biographical history

The Vital Statistics Division was established in 1872 under its first name, Registrar of General of Titles, by authority of the Registration of Births, Deaths and, Marriages Act (SBC 1872. c. 26). The Registrar General of Titles reported to the Attorney-General from 1872 to 1911, except for the years 1899 to 1901 when the registrar reported to the Provincial Secretary. Under the Provincial Board of Health in the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary in 1911, the Registrar General of Titles was renamed the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. In 1933, the Vital Statistics Branch was created under the Vital Statistics Act (SBC 1933, c. 73). It remained within the Provincial Board of Health in the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary and the Provincial Health Officer was also the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The branch was renamed the Vital Statistics Division in 1937 and in 1946 it was transferred to the Dept. of Health and Welfare. The Vital Statistics Division was responsible for determining and registering births, deaths and marriages and for issuing certificates related to these events. The division was also responsible for publishing annual statistical reports of registered births, deaths, marriages, and adoptions. The Vital Statistics Division was renamed the Vital Statistics Agency in 1996 when it became a special operating agency within the Ministry of Health and Ministry responsible for Seniors.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The series consists of copies of British Columbia divorce court orders submitted to the Division of Vital Statistics and its predecessor, the Vital Statistics Branch.

In 1935 an amendment to the Vital Statistics Act required that the Vital Statistics Branch be sent a certified copy of each court order relating to the dissolution of marriage. From 1 April 1935 until 1986, when the requirement for the Division of Vital Statistics to maintain a central divorce register was repealed, divorce orders were sent to Victoria. Copies of final decrees dating back to 1901 were also submitted by the Victoria court registry.

The orders from 1901 to 1935 are arranged roughly by year. Volume number 999 was assigned to this group of records in 1946 (see GR-3254 description). For divorce orders starting in 1935, a sequential volume numbering system was introduced, continuing until 1976. Each year consists of several volumes which are organized alphabetically within groups of months. File numbering to 1946 was sequential but thereafter usually started at 1 at the beginning of each year. From 1977 to 1983, there were no volume numbers assigned.

Note: The volumes and file numbers are internal Vital Statistics numbers and are not the same as the volume and folio numbers assigned by the respective court registries. These orders are intended for reference purposes only. If a certified copy is required, a copy should be made from the original filed document which may be available from the British Columbia Archives or may still be in the custody of the issuing court registry.

The orders are indexed by husband's name in GR-3254. Note that 1983 is incomplete; divorces with a registration number of 7501 or higher are not included.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from BC Vital Statistics Agency to Court Services in January 2004; from Court Services to BC Archives in February 2004.


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There are no access restrictions.

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Use with indexes: GR-3254

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General note

Accession number(s): 92-5082; 94-7317

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