The Archives of Ontario holds many different kinds of records, with a few of the most heavily used being listed below. They are the starting point for most genealogical investigations. Such records are generally indexed, and they are usually available on microfilm at the Archives or through Microfilm Interloan.
The Archives of Ontario has published a series of in depth research guides on a variety of specific topics to help you with your research.
The Archives of Ontario has the following Vital Statistics microfilm available in the Reading Room and through our interloan program:
Births registrations and indexes – 1869-1915
Marriage registrations, ca. 1801-1930
Death registrations, 1869-1940 plus deaths of Ontarians overseas, 1939-1946.
Registrations of births 1916, Marriages 1931 and Deaths 1941 are closed at the present time. The Archives will only provide certified copies for these years in response to legal/humanitarian needs (e.g. passport, foreign citizenship, Indian status).
Wills, which are available at the Archives cover the years from roughly. 1793 to about 1966 provide important information on family relationships and property.
Ontario land records fall into two main categories: (i) Crown land records (for property owned by the Crown), which document the history of a property until it was granted or sold by the Crown; and (ii) land registry records (for privately owned property), which document the history of a property after it was granted or sold by the Crown. A few of the most important of these numerous and varied land records are the Ontario Lands Records Index (relating to land grants), Land Patents and Land Petitions.
After you have taken these initial steps, be prepared to go further. At the Archives of Ontario you may consult naturalization records, passenger lists, maps and tombstone recordings, as well as church, court, military, hospital and school records. You may also consult city directories and voters’ lists.
The Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU), a Branch of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) has done extensive microfilming of family history-related records. This includes microfilm of records held by Archives of Ontario as well as Library and Archives Canada and some religious and local archives. This microfilm can be consulted at any of the GSU’s Family History Centres worldwide. All GSU microfilm of Archives of Ontario records is also available in our Reading Room, and your library can order Archives material for you from through Microfilm Interloan.
For more information on the GSU microfilm holdings, or to find the nearest Family History Centre, please visit www.familysearch.org. Addresses can also be found in the Yellow Pages, under “Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints”. It is best to contact them before your visit as they have limited hours of opening, and microfilm reels may need to be ordered from the GSU’s central repository in Salt Lake City, Utah.