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Archival description
Divorce--British Columbia
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Ashcroft Supreme Court civil cause books and indexes

  • GR-3539
  • Series
  • 1917-1934

Series consists of volume 2 of Ashcroft Supreme Court’s cause books. The volume covers cases 5/1917 to 3/1934 and includes information on divorces, probates and estate administration, adoption orders, and other civil cases. The volume also includes an alphabetical index.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Ashcroft)

Ashcroft Supreme Court divorce orders

  • GR-4250
  • Series
  • 1950-1958, 1971-1997

Series consists of original decrees nisi, decrees absolute, and divorce orders created between 1950-1958 and 1971-1997 by the Ashcroft Supreme Court registry. Between 1968 and 1985, a judgement by way of decree nisi required a three-month waiting period before a judgement by way of decree absolute could be applied for. During this time, a divorce was not legally in effect without a decree absolute. After 1985, divorce orders automatically came into effect 31 days after the divorce was granted, barring an appeal.

Decrees nisi and decrees absolute are filed together and arranged by case number, not by volume and folio or by date. This means that records of varying dates are interfiled. From 1950-1978, case file numbers were assigned chronologically and include the year a divorce was initiated. For example, no. 1/71 was the first divorce initiated in 1971, no. 1/72 was the first divorce of 1972, and so on. Starting in 1979, case file numbers continued sequentially across years from no. 14 in 1979 to no. 82 in 1997. The records were scheduled for full retention under Court Services ORCS (schedule 100152) 51440-25.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Ashcroft)

Ashcroft Supreme Court, County Court, and Small Claims Court civil orders/reasons for judgement

  • GR-3531
  • Series
  • 1974-1997

Series consists of civil orders and reasons for judgement from the Supreme Court, County Court, and Small Claims Court in Ashcroft. The series includes divorce records interfiled with other court orders. Records from the various level of court are interfiled. The series includes a small number of records that were originally filed at the Kamloops registry before being transferred to Ashcroft.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Ashcroft)

Barkerville Supreme Court divorce case files

  • GR-2022
  • Series
  • 1939-1951

The series consists of six Barkerville Supreme Court divorce case files from 1939 to 1951.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Barkerville)

Chilliwack Supreme Court cause books

  • GR-2126
  • Series
  • 1916-1969

This series consists of cause books from the Supreme Court of Chilliwack, 1916-1969. The books include primarily civil cases including adoption and divorce.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Chilliwack)

Chilliwack Supreme Court civil orders and reasons for judgement

  • GR-3705
  • Series
  • 1916-1946, 1949-1992

The series consists of civil orders created by the Chilliwack Supreme Court between 1916 and 1946 and 1949 to 1992. The series also consists of a subseries of early reasons for judgement, dating to the 1930s and 1940s. In many cases, these were interfiled with the civil orders. Early civil orders contain adoption information, although later orders appear to have been removed. The series includes divorce records, including decrees nisi and absolute. Reasons for judgement provide the rationale behind a court’s decision, and civil orders are a formal expression of the court’s will.

Records in this series are arranged by volume and folio number. Many of the records were originally housed in shannon folders, and have been rehoused for preservation purposes. When the records were received by the Archives, the volumes were out of order. As it would have been too difficult to re-order the files at the time, they have been left in the received physical order but the file list is arranged by volume number. The records in this series were selected for full retention under the Court Services ORCS (Schedule 100152) number 51400-25.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Chilliwack)

Chilliwack Supreme Court divorce orders

  • GR-4194
  • Series
  • 1949-1961, 1964, 1984-1985

The series consists of original decrees nisi, decrees absolute, divorce orders, and orders for the restoration of maiden name by the Chilliwack Supreme Court. Records date from January 1949 to December 1953, January to June 1964, and August 1984 to July 1985. Between 1968 and 1985, a judgement by way of decree nisi required a three-month waiting period before a judgement by way of decree absolute could be applied for. During this time, a divorce was not legally in effect without a decree absolute. After 1985, divorce orders automatically came into effect 31 days after the divorce was granted, barring an appeal.

The records are arranged by volume and folio numbers, as assigned by the Court Registry. The records were scheduled for full retention under Court Services ORCS (schedule 100152) 51440-25.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Chilliwack)

Clinton County Court orders and judgments

  • GR-3622
  • Series
  • 1972-1975

The series consists of orders and judgments created in Clinton County Court between 1972 and 1975. The series also consists of one index volume. The records include cases related to payment of wages, mechanic’s liens, and small claims. This volume also includes divorces. The series is covered by ORCS 51100-32 in Court Services schedule 100152.

British Columbia. County Court (Clinton)

Cranbrook Supreme and County Court civil orders

  • GR-3704
  • Series
  • 1955-1999

Series consists of civil orders from both the Supreme and County Courts of Cranbrook for 1955-1999. Civil orders represent the formal expression of the ruling of the court. Records relate to a variety of civil matters including divorces, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and some adoptions.

Records from the Supreme and County levels were interfiled together and are arranged by volume and folio number. Records of varying types have been interfiled, except when probate orders were separated into their own files between 1973-1974.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Cranbrook)

Cranbrook Supreme Court divorce orders

  • GR-4245
  • Series
  • 1969-1979, predominately 1972-1978

Series consists of original decrees nisi, decrees absolute, divorce orders, and judgements created between 1972 and 1979 by the Cranbrook Supreme Court. Also includes 1969-1975 monthly lists of returned certified copies of decrees from the Cranbrook Court Registry and acknowledgements of the returns by Vital Statistics. Between 1968 and 1985, a judgement by way of decree nisi required a three-month waiting period before a judgement by way of decree absolute could be applied for. During this time, a divorce was not legally in effect without a decree absolute.

Initially, orders, decrees nisi, and decrees absolute are filed together and arranged by case file number, not by volume and folio or by date. This means that records of varying dates are interfiled. Beginning 1 October 1975, records were separated and arranged by volume and folio numbers. As such, cases started but not completed before 30 September 1975 may be found under a case file number, volume and folio numbers, or by both. The records were scheduled for full retention under Court Services ORCS (schedule 100152) 51440-25.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Cranbrook)

Creston Supreme Court civil orders and reasons for judgement

  • GR-3637
  • Series
  • 1953-2001

Series consists of civil orders and judgements from the Supreme Court of Creston for 1953-2001, including divorces.

Orders and judgements are interfiled. Although most divorces are interfiled, the series also includes one file of divorce orders that were either removed from their original volumes or were maintained separately.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Creston)

Delta Supreme Court divorce orders

  • GR-4261
  • Series
  • 1974-1977, 1980

Series consists of Delta Supreme Court divorce decrees absolute, decrees nisi, and orders created between 1974 and 1977 as well as one judgement from 1980. Between 1968 and 1985, a decree nisi required a three-month waiting period before a decree absolute could be applied for. During this time, a divorce was not legally in effect without a decree absolute. Also included in the series is a list of divorce petitions for August 1974-February 1975.

All orders are arranged by volume and folio numbers, as assigned by the Court Registry, and folders each include a nominal file list. The divorce petitions list is arranged by case file number and entries include a last name, an additional unknown numbering sequence, and details per case such as date discontinued or transfer to another registry. The records were scheduled for full retention under Court Services ORCS (schedule 100152) 51440-25.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Delta)

Divorce court orders

  • GR-3255
  • Series
  • 1901-1983

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. It includes copies of divorce orders for Victoria from 1901 to 1983 and for British Columbia from 1935 to 1983.

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 Victoria 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 British Columbia 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.

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.

British Columbia. Division of Vital Statistics

Duncan Supreme Court cause books

  • GR-3850
  • Series
  • 1937-1976

This series consists of cause books from the Supreme Court of Duncan from 1937-1976. The books include divorce, adoption and other civil matters.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Duncan)

Duncan Supreme Court civil orders

  • GR-3712
  • Series
  • 1950-2002

The series consists of civil orders created in the Supreme Court in Duncan between 1950 and 2002. Orders are a formal expression of the court’s will, and orders in this series cover a variety of issues, including adoption and divorce.

The series is arranged by volume, and then by folio. From volumes 1 to 48, the volume and folio numbers are provided on the records themselves. After volume 48, this information is not always provided. Sometimes the records bear file numbers which appear to be sequential and which restart every year. Sometimes even these numbers are not listed on the records and the only way to identify them is by filing date.
The dates listed in the file list are derived from the date on which the order was filed. Although the filing date for the majority of the records corresponds closely to when the order was issued, this is not always the case, and there are instances in which orders were filed months after being issued.

Originally the majority of the files were arranged in binders based on volume number. If an index existed for the volume, it would be placed in the front of the binder. For space and preservation reasons, the records have been removed from the binders and placed in acid-free folders. Records from binders tend to span two folders, which are linked by volume number. The first of the two binders will house the index for the entire volume, if one was included.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Duncan)

Duncan Supreme Court divorce case files

  • GR-2340
  • Series
  • 1939-1949

The series consists of Duncan Supreme Court divorce case files from 1939, 1944-1948.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Duncan)

Duncan Supreme Court divorce orders and judgements

  • GR-4244
  • Series
  • 1950-1976

Series consists of original divorce decrees nisi, decrees absolute, orders, and judgements created between 1950 and 1976 by the Duncan Supreme Court registry. Records for 1969-1971 are missing. Between 1968 and 1985, a judgement by way of decree nisi required a three-month waiting period before a judgement by way of decree absolute could be applied for. During this time, a divorce was not legally in effect without a decree absolute. After 1985, divorce orders automatically came into effect 31 days after the divorce was granted, barring an appeal.

Orders, judgements, decrees nisi, and decrees absolute are filed together and arranged by case number, not by volume and folio or by date. This means that records of varying dates are interfiled. From 1950-1978, case file numbers were assigned chronologically and include the year a divorce was initiated. For example, no. 1/53 was the first divorce initiated in 1953, no. 1/54 was the first divorce of 1954, and so on. Later, case file numbers continued sequentially across years from no. 93 in 1971 to no. 430 in 1976. The records were scheduled for full retention under Court Services ORCS (schedule 100152) 51440-25.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Duncan)

Fernie Supreme and County Court civil orders and reasons for judgement

  • GR-4162
  • Series
  • 1978-2001

The series consists of original civil orders, judgements, and reasons for judgement created between 1978 and 2001 by the Fernie Supreme Court and County Court registry. Orders are the formal expression of the ruling of the court, judgements are the final orders issued in a case, and reasons for judgement provide the court's rationale. The records relate to a variety of civil matters including divorces, bankruptcies, and some adoptions. In the later years of this series, adoptions were removed and filed separately.

From 1978 to August 1999, the records are arranged by volume and folio number as assigned by the court registry. Beginning September 1999, they are arranged chronologically. The records were scheduled for full retention under Court Services ORCS (schedule 100152) 51400-25.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Fernie)

Fernie Supreme Court civil cause books

  • GR-2148
  • Series
  • 1905-1977

Series consists of cause books from the Fernie Supreme Court for civil cases between 1905-1977. Cause books provide the framework for Supreme Court civil action cases and may include the names of parties and their solicitors; the dates when proceedings occurred, including the issuing of orders; and fees charged. They are often the only source of information for divorces that were not finalized since no final order would have been granted and case files are destroyed.

The records are arranged chronologically by the date a case was initiated. Case file numbers were then assigned sequentially and include the last two digits of the year (e.g., 1/24 for the first case initiated in 1924). The records were scheduled for retention under Court Services ORCS (schedule 100152) 53200-20.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Fernie)

Fernie Supreme Court divorce case files

  • GR-2520
  • Series
  • 1907-1951

The series consists of Fernie Supreme Court divorce case files from 1907 to 1951.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Fernie)

Fernie Supreme Court orders

  • GR-3720
  • Series
  • 1983-2002

The series consists of orders from the Supreme Court in Fernie. The orders date from 1983 to 2002 and the series is largely composed of divorce orders. There is one folder of adoption orders and one of general court orders, which also includes orders related to probates and estates. Divorce orders were originally arranged by volume and folio number, but this system appears to have changed in 1999 and the records were subsequently arranged by filing date. Researchers should note that there is sometimes a gap between the date the order is issued and the date it is filed. Other orders appear to be arranged by filing date.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Fernie)

Golden Supreme Court civil orders

  • GR-3766
  • Series
  • 1960-1991

The series consists of civil orders created in the Supreme Court in Golden between 1960 and 1991. Orders are a formal expression of the court’s will, and orders in this series cover a variety of issues, including adoption, probate and divorce.

The series is arranged by volume, and then by folio according to filing date. Some folios may not be clearly labeled, may not be filed chronologically or may have duplicated folio numbers. Each folio is labeled with a coded registry number. Some additional documents may be interfiled with numbered folios, such as affidavits. There is only one partial index for volume 4 included.

The dates listed in the file list are derived from the date on which the order was filed. Although the filing date for the majority of the records corresponds closely to when the order was issued, this is not always the case, and there are instances in which orders were filed months after being issued.

Originally the files were arranged in Shannon files based on volume number. For space and preservation reasons, the records have been placed in acid-free folders. Each volume was split into multiple folders, which are linked by volume number.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Golden)

Grand Forks Supreme Court cause books

  • GR-1635
  • Series
  • 1900-1969

The series consists of four volumes of indexed cause books, created in the Grand Forks registry between 1900 and 1969. A typical cause book entry lists the style of cause, solicitors' names, nature of claim, and the dates of various proceedings in each case. The entry also provides the case file number. For Supreme Court cases, cause books are often used as a starting point for research. The cause books include information on adoption, divorce, chattel mortgages, and other civil proceedings.

The records are arranged by case number and are also chronological.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Grand Forks)

Grand Forks Supreme Court divorce case files

  • GR-2795
  • Series
  • 1923-1946

The series consists of Grand Forks Supreme Court divorce case files from 1923 to 1946.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Grand Forks)

Grand Forks Supreme Court orders

  • GR-1880
  • Series
  • 1900-1947

The series consists of original civil orders created between 1900 and 1947 by the Grand Forks Supreme Court registry. Orders are the formal expression of the ruling of the court. Records relate to a variety of civil matters including divorces, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and some adoptions.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Grand Forks)

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