The series consists of indexes to copies of divorce orders submitted to the Division of Vital Statistics and its predecessor, the Vital Statistics Branch.
The indexes consist of computer printouts arranged alphabetically by surname of husband. Prior to 1976 the indexes cover groups of years. From 1977 to 1983 they are annual. A consolidated index covering 1901-1977 was also created. Divorce orders 1501-1582 (1962) were omitted from the 1935-1962 index and a separate index was created by BC Archives staff.
The index entries prior to April 1935 are based on a card index maintained by the Inspector of Legal Offices of actions commenced in divorce and matrimonial proceedings. The index was turned over to the Vital Statistics Division in 1946 which incorporated "certain entries" into its index. The cards were assigned volume number 999, "indicating that the entry referred to an index card only, and not to a copy of a decree." Accordingly, any index entries prior to April 1935 do not necessarily indicate the completion of a divorce action.
Further information about these divorce actions may be found in the court records of the registry where the action was commenced. If an action was commenced prior to April 1935 but a decree was granted after that date, the volume 999 entry was replaced with the Vital Statistics volume and record number. (See "Explanation of Entries in Divorce Index", GR-3255, B16263.) Not all pre-1935 divorces appear to have been included. If a name is not found, the individual court registry records should be checked. Each entry includes full name of husband and wife, place of divorce, date of final order, and Vital Statistics volume and record, or registration, number.
These indexes can also be used to identify court registry and final order date which can be used to assist in locating divorce orders within the court record series. Please note that for index entries prior to April 1935 only Victoria divorce orders appear in GR-3255. The others can be located in the individual court registry records. As well, any 1983 divorce orders with a registration number of 7501 or higher are not included in GR-3255 but can be found in the records of the court registries.
British Columbia. Division of Vital Statistics