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Genealogy and Family History

What to Search: Topics

Births, Marriages and Deaths


Marriages

Marriage certificate of Robert Harrower and Caroline Anderson. 19 October 1859. Library and Archives Canada, MG 8 F89, vol. 8, p. 4700-4701, reel C-14034

Source

Marriage certificate of
Robert Harrower and
Caroline Anderson.
19 October 1859.
Library and Archives Canada,
MG 8 F89, vol. 8, p. 4700-4701,
reel C-14034.

The marriage record generally provides:

  • date of marriage;
  • names of spouses, occupation and place of residence;
  • names of parents of spouses, occupation and place of residence or names of previous spouses; and
  • names of witnesses.

As civil registration (birth, marriage and death records) is not a federal jurisdiction, Library and Archives Canada does not hold the civil registers and does not issue certificates.

Marriages are recorded in:

Marriage Bonds and Licences

Marriage bonds were prepared only in the case of marriage by licence. The groom was required to enter into a bond with one or two people who knew him and who were prepared to guarantee to the Crown that no legal impediment to the marriage existed. These documents offer little genealogical information beyond the names of the betrothed, their place of residence, and the date of the bond. After obtaining the bond, a licence was issued and the marriage took place a few days later.

Research at Library and Archives Canada

Marriage Bond for John Abbot and Jane Beattie, 16 October 1827. Library and Archives Canada, RG 4 B28, vol. 34, number 725

Source

Marriage Bond for
John Abbot and Jane Beattie,
16 October 1827.
Library and Archives Canada,
RG 4 B28, vol. 34, number 725.

Marriage Bonds

Library and Archives Canada holds 10826 marriage bonds for Upper Canada (Ontario), 1803-1865, (RG 5 B9) and Lower Canada (Quebec), 1779-1858, (RG 4 B28).

Our Marriage Bonds, 1779-1858 - Upper & Lower Canada database provides access to these marriage bonds. The original bonds are available on microfilm. The microfilm reel numbers are included in the database.

Marriage Licences

Marriage licences for Upper and Lower Canada before 1867 were not retained. However, some lists containing the names of persons to whom marriage licences were issued are available. These lists contain few details besides the date of issuance of the licence and names of future spouses.

List of marriage licences issued in Upper Canada.  Library and Archives Canada, RG 5 B9

Source

List of marriage
licences issued
in Upper Canada.
Library and Archives
Canada, RG 5 B9.

Names appearing on lists of marriages licences issued in Upper Canada (RG 5 B9)

Sample document.
These records are not available online or on microfilm.

List of marriage licences issued in Lower Canada.  Library and Archives Canada, RG 4 B28, volume 46

Source

List of marriage
licences issued
in Lower Canada.
Library and Archives
Canada, RG 4 B28,
volume 46.

Names appearing on lists of marriages licences issued in Lower Canada (RG 4 B28)

Sample document.
These records are not available online or on microfilm.

Research in Provincial Sources

Alberta

There are no marriage bonds or licences for Alberta.

British Columbia

There are no marriage bonds or licences for British Columbia.

Manitoba

There are no marriage bonds or licences for Manitoba.

New Brunswick

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has an online database [http://archives.gnb.ca/apps/govrecs/rs551a/Default.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/APPS/GovRecs/RS551A/Default-e.aspx&culture=en-CA] of marriage bonds, 1810-1932, for that province.

Newfoundland and Labrador

There are no marriage bonds or licences for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories Archives holds some marriage licences issued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for the years 1951 to 1953.

Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management holds files for marriage bonds (1763-1871) and marriage licences (1849-1918). An online database of marriage bonds [www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/databases/bonds/], 1763-1849 is available.

Nunavut

Nunavut was part of the Northwest Territories before April 1, 1999. Marriage licences prior to this date are kept at the Northwest Territories Archives.

Ontario

The Archives of Ontario holds eight marriage bonds filed with the Clerk of the Peace for the Eastern District in 1806 and 1807 and eleven marriage bonds filed with the Western District Clerk of the Peace between 1826 and 1835. Volumes of marriage license books are also available for 1907 to 1910.

Prince Edward Island

The Public Archives and Records Office holds marriage bonds from 1849 to 1902 and marriage licenses from 1787 to 1919. They are available on microfilm and an index by both bride and groom's name is available.

Quebec

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Quebec City office, holds marriage licences from 1872 to 31 March 1969 for the entire province of Quebec. It is part of Ministère des Finances fonds (E14).

Marriage contracts can be found in notarial records.

Saskatchewan

There are no marriage bonds or licences for Saskatchewan.

Yukon

Yukon Archives holds marriage licences for the Anglican Church, Diocese of Yukon, from 1903 to 1927 and also for the St.Paul's Anglican Church of Dawson City from 1910 to 1964.