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Registers of Vital Statistics (pre-1892-93)
Civil Registration started in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1891. Beginning at that time, all clergy were required to register with the government, all baptisms, marriages and burials conducted within their jurisdiction. Prior to 1891, no such central registry existed, so the only records of baptism, marriage or burial were the ones held by the churches.
Community Index - Registers of Vital Statistics
Vital Statistics - Newfoundland Births, Marriages, and Deaths
Births - 1891-1899
Marriages - 1891-1922
Deaths - 1891-1949
These records have been microfilmed. The microfilm is available for research at the Provincial Archives. It is also available for research through the Family History Centres operated by the Genealogical Society of Utah.
The Rooms Provincial Archives does not make prints of these records for clients or issue certificates based on the records. Certificates can be obtained from the
Vital Statistics Division.
Vital Statistics - All Newfoundland Births (1840 to 1915)
An on-line index is not available for this collection of baptism/birth records. The finding aid is only accessible at The Rooms Provincial Archives at 9 Bonaventure Ave. The collection contains:
- sworn affidavits attesting to the age of relatives, friends, or acquaintances,
- delayed registrations of birth, (if a birth was not registered within one year from the date of the birth, an application had to be completed and supported by written evidence of birth),
- photocopies of baptism/birth certificates,
- extracts, by clergy from parish registers of baptisms,
- lists which include more than one family member (sometimes copied from a Family Bible).
Some records may duplicate baptisms already available in the Collection of Vital Statistics Registers or the Parish Records Collection. Some are records of baptism/birth which may not be found elsewhere. This is especially true of church records which have been destroyed by fire and which predated the start of civil registration in 1891.
This collection contains a number of marriage records, as well as one death record. They are noted in the indexes.
Parish Records (Online Index Under Development)
This collection contains photocopies and/or microfilm copies of original church registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, as well as records of confirmations, minute books and other records of parish life.
There are approximately 200 Newfoundland and Labrador parishes represented in this collection. The religious denominations include the Anglican, Congregational, United Church, Moravian, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Salvation Army faiths.
For the purposes of this collection, the term PARISH refers to a district having its own church (or churches) and clergy. Thus, parish is used not only for the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches but also for United Church pastoral charges and congregations, Moravian missions and Salvation Army corps.
Although this is an extensive collection, it is by no means complete. The Rooms Provincial Archives is not a registry of such records. It is through agreements with parishes that copies of their records are made available for genealogical research. Each parish determines the time frame of the records it will release for copying.
Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths - Parish Records Finding Aid
The Parish Records Finding Aid is arranged in the following order:
1. Religious Denomination
Other Collections of Interest for Family History Researchers
In addition to the Government Archives, Manuscript, Cartographic and Architectural and Still and Moving Images Collections, the following collections will be of particular interest to family history researchers:
Gertrude Crosbie Collection. Mrs. Crosbie's compilation of births, marriages and deaths from 19th century newspapers bridges some of the missing gaps in church records.
Conception Bay area of Harbour Grace and Carbonear, extracts of births, marriages and deaths from newspapers, circa 1850-1900.
Daily News Deaths. Listing of deaths from the year-end editions of the Daily News from 1913 to 1963.
Census Records. 1675-1945.
Voter's Lists. 1832- 1980's.
Registry of Crown Land Grants. Crown Land purchases from 1830-1930.
Probated Wills of the Supreme Court. 1825-1900.
The Plantation Books. Registers of ownership of fishing rooms for Bonavista Bay, Conception Bay and Twillingate, circa 1804-1806.
Court Records. Include Surrogates Court, Magistrates Court, Supreme Court, Court of Sessions and Vice-Admiralty Court. They can be used for the identification of individuals in their community. They are also important sources for documenting economic relationships and the position of individuals in the economy.
Reference Library. Newspapers on microfilm, the early directories, yearbooks and almanacs and the Journals of the House of Assembly.