Microfilm Interloan Service

Finding a Death Registration - A Pathfinder


Black and white photograph of a group of men gathered around a casket

The Archives of Ontario holds death registrations for the years 1869 to 1942.

Additional records are transferred annually from the Office of the Registrar General. The index books and registrations for the 1941 and 1942 deaths are closed for scanning. It is planned that the 1941 deaths will be available to the public in a microfilm format later in 2013.

An additional year of registrations and indexes is transferred annually from the Office of the Registrar General and microfilmed. The 1941 registrations will be available to the public some time in 2013.

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


Death 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 death.

Did the death occur...


...Before July 1869?

The Province of Ontario did not register deaths prior to July 1869. However, Estate Files from the Surrogate and Probate Courts are a good source of information for some early Ontario deaths. Cemetery Transcriptions are another source documenting deaths, as are Church Records.


For deaths that occurred in this date range consult the document Indexes to Deaths - 1869-1940 - RG 80-10, Appendix A8.The Indexes, which are arranged by year of death, then alphabetically by last and first name, can be found on MS 937.

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel that you should order. When you receive the reel, look up the person's name in the appropriate Index.

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

If you haven't used a death index before you may wish to consult the document: How to Use the Indexes to Death Registrations (RG 80-10)

...In 1941 and 1942?

The death registrations for 1941 and 1942 have been transferred to the Archives of Ontario. They are closed for digitizing which takes approximately one year from the date of transfer and will be available to the public some time in 2013.

The Archives will search for and copy 1941 and 1942 death 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 death, the place of death 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.

...1943-Present?

Death Registrations after 1942 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 find the death in either the Original Index Books to Birth, Marriage and Death Registrations or the Original Index Books to Death Registrations above, you will have the year of registration, a Liber (volume) and the Folio (page) number. Follow one of these links to the correct date range.

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel of MS 935 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 death was not registered or did not take place in Ontario.

Yes

If you found the person's name, make a note of the Registration Number and the Registration Year (not the Year of Death). Then, use that information to find the reel of microfilm that contains the actual record.

Is the Registration Number...


...Between 0 and 399,999?

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

Remove the first digit (the "0", "00", "2" or the "3") and look up the registration using the rest of the number.

Follow the links to the appropriate date range in the document: Registrations of Death - 1869-1940 - RG80-8, Appendix A7 - 1869 to 1899, 1900 to 1919, 1920 to 1939, 1940.

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel of MS 935 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, find the correct year on the microfilm and look up the registration number.

...Above 400,000?

The Archives of Ontario has not received these death records from the Office of the Registrar General. Researchers wishing to obtain a copy of such a registration should contact:

Office of the Registrar General
189 Red River Road
P.O. Box 4800
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Canada P7B 6L8

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

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