Microfilm Interloan Service

Finding a Marriage Registration - A Pathfinder


Photo: Bride and groom cutting the cake, Torges wedding, [ca. 1945]
Bride and groom cutting the cake,
Torges wedding, [ca. 1945]
Gordon W. Powley
Black and white negative
Reference Code: C 5-1-0-126-5
Archives of Ontario, I0002758

The Archives of Ontario holds marriage registrations from ca. 1780 to 1932. Prior to 1869, these records are very incomplete.

Additional records are transferred annually from the Office of the Registrar General. The index books and registrations for the 1931 and 1932 marriages are closed for scanning. It is planned that the 1931 marriages 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.

Marriage 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 peoples' names and when the marriage took place.

Did the marriage occur?...


...Between 1780 and July 1869?

Some marriages were registered.

The District Marriage Registers - 1801-1858 - RG 80-27-1, Appendix A18 consist of marriage registers from the districts and indexes for these registers. Under the 1831 Upper Canada Marriage Act, the District Clerks of the Peace compiled these registrations dating from 1831-1858. They are among the earliest registrations of marriages available at the Archives of Ontario. Post-1858 registrations were compiled by either a County Clerk of the Peace or a Division Registrar.

This sub-series also includes some marriage certificates from the Johnstown District and the personal registers of the Rev. James Harris (Home District), which includes baptisms and entries concerning the dispensing of the Eucharist.

Marriage Records Collection (RG 80-27)

The 1896 Registration Act allowed the Office of the Registrar General to assume custody of any marriage records compiled by County Clerks of the peace. As many clerks also held marriage registrations compiled by the earlier District Clerks of the peace, these records were also transferred to the Register General.

The 1919 Vital Statistics Act allowed for the deposit of records of births, marriages, baptisms, and deaths held by any church, historical society, association, corporation or individual. Transferred to the Archives of Ontario, this Series (RG80-27) has been described in five sub-series:

District Marriage Registers - 1801-1858
-Sub-Series RG 80-27-1, Appendix A18

County Marriage Registers - 1858- June 1869
-Sub-Series RG 80-27-2, Appendix A19


Registers By Clergy

-Sub-Series RG 80-27-3, Appendix A20, Appendix B4


Roman Catholic Marriage Registers

-Sub-Series RG 80-27-4, Appendix A21


Miscellaneous Registers.
-Sub-Series RG 80-27-5


...July 1869-1930?

Between July and December 1869 the Registration was only indexed in the Original Index Books to Birth, Marriage and Death Registrations - July to December 1869 - RG 80-11. Retrieve MS 938, reel 1 for this time period.

There are no computer-generated indexes for marriages registered from 1870 to 1872. For marriages during that time period, check this Original Index Books to Marriage Registrations - 1870-1872 - RG80-24, Appendix A13, to determine which reel of MS 941 you need to consult.

For marriages that occurred between 1873 and 1930 consult the document Indexes to Marriages - 1873-1930 - RG80-7, Appendix A6 to determine which reel of MS 934 you need to consult.

Look up the person's name in the appropriate Index. The names in the Indexes are arranged:

  • By marriage year
  • Then, alphabetically by last and first name

If you haven't used a marriage index before you may wish to consult the document: How to Use the Indexes to Marriage Registrations (RG 80-7).

...In 1931 and 1932?

The marriage registrations for 1931 and 1932 have been transferred to the Archives of Ontario. They are closed for digitizing which takes approximately one year from the date of transfer. The 1931 records should be available to the public some time in 2013.

The Archives will search for and copy 1931 and 1932 marriage 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 marriage, the place of marriage 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.

...1933-Present?

Marriage Registrations after 1932 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.

- For July-December 1869, check the Original Index Books to Birth, Marriage and Death Registrations - 1869 - RG 80-11

- For 1870-1929 check the Original Index Books to Marriage Registrations - 1873-1929 - RG80-24, Appendix A13.

The Original Marriage Index is arranged:

  • First, by surname initial;
  • Second, by name of the County or District (City of Toronto registrations were often separately listed at the beginning of each year's index)

If you find a Marriage in either series of the Original Marriage Indexes (RG 80-11) or (RG 80-24), you will have the year of registration, a Liber (volume) and the Folio (page) number. Once you have this information, proceed to the Registrations of Marriages (Listed Geographically) - 1869 to 1911, 1920-1929 - RG 80-5, Appendix B2. The table there will list the reel of MS 932 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, find the correct Liber (volume) on the microfilm and look up the Folio (page) within it.

If the person's name doesn't appear in any of the indexes, the marriage 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 Marriage Year). 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 Marriage Indexes is below 200,000, the marriage was registered the same year that it occurred.

If the Registration Number listed in the Marriage Indexes is between 200,000 and 399,999, it is a delayed registration recorded AFTER the year that the marriage occurred.

Remove the first digit (the "0", "00", "2" or "3") and look up the rest of the number using the table on the document Registrations of Marriages - 1869-1930 - RG 80-5, Appendix A5 where you will find:

  • First, the year of the registration - (NOT the year of the marriage), and
  • Second, the volume within that year which contains the registration number (minus the first "0", "2" or "3").

The "Microfilm Reference" column in the table will list the reel of MS 932 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, find the correct year on the microfilm and look up the registration number within it.

...Between 500,000
and 599,999

If the Registration Number listed in the Marriage Indexes is between 500,000 and 599,999, the marriage occurred between 1892 and 1916 but was not registered until after 1944. Please note that we do not have delayed registrations for every year. Use the table on the document Delayed Registrations of Marriages, "50" Series - 1892-1919 - RG 80-6-1 to find:

  • First, the year of the marriage - (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 948 microfilm that you should order. When you receive the reel, find the correct year on the microfilm and look up the registration number within it.

...Between 900,000
and 999,999

The Archives of Ontario has not received these marriage 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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