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Finding a Birth Registration - A Pathfinder


Photo: Baby in carrier, Sandy Lake, 1956

Click here to see a larger image (82K)
Baby in carrier, Sandy Lake, 1956
John MacFie
Black and white negative
Reference Code: C 330-9-0-0-65
Archives of Ontario, I0000259

The Archives of Ontario holds birth registrations for the years 1869 to 1917.

Additional records are transferred annually from the Office of the Registrar General. The index books and registrations for the 1916 and 1917 births are closed for scanning. It is planned that the 1916 births will be available to the public in a microfilm format later in 2013.

To determine which microfilm reel contains the registration you're searching for, follow the path below.

Birth registrations are indexed for each year and a unique identifying number is assigned to each registration. This Pathfinder will guide you through the Indexes (Indexes are lists of names in alphabetical order.) to the Registration Number and finally to the Registration. Appendices in Inventory 80 (Records of the Office of the Registrar General) list microfilm reel numbers for the Indexes and the Registrations.

The first step is to identify a Registration Number using an Index. To do so, you must know the person's name and the year of birth.

Did the birth occur...


...Before July 1869?

The Province of Ontario did not register births before July 1869. The only documents that might have recorded a birth are christening or baptism records. These are Church records for which you must know:

  • The approximate year of the christening or baptism
  • The geographical location (i.e. town or township) of the ceremony
  • The religion of the ceremony, or more specifically, the parents' religion

The Archives of Ontario holds only a small number of these Church records. Other Church and vital statistics records are scattered in Church, local, and university archives. The Library and Archives Canada/Bibliothèque et Archives Canada also holds a number of vital statistics and church records, many of which are available on microfilm.


These indexes to births can be found on MS 931 (RG 80-4, Appendix A4).

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel of MS 931 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, look up the person's name in the appropriate Index. The Indexes are arranged by birth year, then alphabetically by last and first name.

If you find the person's name make a note of the Registration Number and the Registration Year (not the Birth Year), then return to this page to continue your search for the registration.

If you haven't used a birth index before you may wish to consult the document: How to Use the Indexes to Births, Stillbirths and Delayed Registrations (RG 80-4)

...In 1916 and 1917?

The birth registrations for 1916 and 1917 have been transferred to the Archives. They are closed for digitizing which takes approximately one year from the date of transfer. The 1916 records should be available to the public some time in 2013.

The Archives will search for and copy 1916 and 1917 birth registrations only if the information is required to meet urgent legal or humanitarian needs. Requests for this information must include: the name of the person on record, the year of the birth, the place of birth if known, and the legal or humanitarian reason for making the request.

Please submit your request and contact information to:

Archives of Ontario
134 Ian Macdonald Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M7A 2C5

Tel: 416-327-1600 / 1-800-668-9933 toll free in Ontario only
Fax: 416-327-1999
Email: reference@ontario.ca

An Archives of Ontario staff member will contact you to confirm receipt of your request and to discuss any copying charges that may apply.

...1918 - Present?

Birth Registrations after 1917 are still held by the Office of the Registrar General.

Contact:

Office of the Registrar General
189 Red River Road
P.O. Box 4600
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Canada P7B 6L8

Tel: 416-325-8305
1-800-461-2156 (toll-free in Ontario)

Did you find the person's name?


No

There is a slight chance that the Registration was only indexed in the original hand-written Indexes. If you did not find the birth listed in the computer-generated Index Books check the Original Index Books to Birth, Marriage and Death Registrations - July to December 1869 - RG 80-11 on MS 938 reel 1, for births registered between July and December in 1869.

For 1870-1913 check the Original Index Books to Birth and Stillbirth Registrations - RG 80-12, Appendix A9 to determine what reel of MS 939 you need.

If you find a birth in either the Original Index Books - Birth, Marriage and Death Registrations (RG 80-11) or the Original Index Books - Births and Stillbirth Registrations (RG 80-12) above, you will have the year of registration, a Liber (volume) and the Folio (page) number. Follow this link to: Registrations of Births and Stillbirths (Listed Geographically) - RG 80-2, Appendix B1, where you will be able to find:

  • First, the year of registration, then
  • Second, the Liber (volume) number or letter

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel of MS 929 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, find the correct year on the microfilm and look up the registration number.

If the person's name is in neither Index, the birth was not registered or did not take place in Ontario.

Yes

If you found the person's name, the second step is to use the Registration Number to find the reel of microfilm that contains the actual record

Is the Registration Number...



If the Registration Number listed in the Birth Indexes is below 200,000, the birth was registered the same year that it occurred. If the Registration Number is between 200,000 and 399,999, it was a delayed registration recorded after the year that the birth occurred.

To find the registration remove the "0", "00", "2" or "3" from the start of the registration number and then search the table on the document: Registrations of Births and Stillbirths - 1869-1915 - RG 80-2, Appendix A2

Use the table to find:

  • First, the year of the registration - (not the year of the birth)
  • Second, the volume within that year which contains the registration number.

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel of MS 929 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, find the correct year on the microfilm and look up the registration number.


If the Registration Number listed in the Birth Indexes is between 500,000 and 599,999, the birth was not registered for several decades. Consult the document: Delayed Registrations of Births And Stillbirths, "50" Series - 1869-1915 - RG 80-3-1, Appendix A3.

Use the table to find:

  • First, the year of the birth - (NOT the year of the registration)
  • Second, the volume within that year which contains the registration number.

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel of MS 930 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, find the correct year on the microfilm and look up the Registration Number.

...Between 600,000 and 699,999

Consult a reference archivist regarding access to these records.

Archives of Ontario
134 Ian Macdonald Blvd.
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M7A 2C5

Tel: 416-327-1600
1-800-668-9933 (toll-free in Ontario)
email: reference@ontario.ca


If the Registration Number listed in the Birth Indexes is above 900,000, the birth was not registered for several decades. Consult the document: Delayed Registrations of Births And Stillbirths, "90" Series - 1869-1915 - RG 80-3-2, Appendix A15.

Use the table to find:

  • First, the year of the birth - (NOT the year of the registration)
  • Second, the volume within that year which contains the registration number.

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel of MS 933 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, find the correct year on the microfilm and look up the registration number.

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