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Ministry of Health

Publicly Available Vital Records from the Vital Statistics Agency

Indexes to British Columbia's publicly released historic birth, marriage and death registrations can be viewed on the Internet through the BC Archives web site at http://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/genealogy/microfilm.html. On this web site, family history researchers can search by name, date and place to find:

  • birth registrations 1872-1888 (at least 120 years after the date of birth)
  • marriage registrations 1872-1933 (at least 75 years after the date of marriage) and
  • death registrations 1872-1988 (at least 20 years after the date of death).

These timeframes are consistent with the protection of privacy provisions in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Section 36) governing disclosure of personal information for historical or archival purposes.

Copies of the original registration documents of these vital records are available on microfilm at various libraries and genealogical centres in British Columbia, including the BC Archives Reading Room in Victoria. The list of microfilm locations can be found on the Vital Statistics web site at http://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/genealogy/microfilm.html.

There are a small number of registrations listed on the web site indexes that are not currently available to the public on microfilm. These events were registered some time after the event occurred and are on microfilm reels which are not yet publicly releasable.

Type of Event Date of Event Description of Vital Records Available on Microfilm or Microfiche
Births 1872-1888 Included:
  • Births registered with Vital Statistics in this time period, including a small number of births from pre-1872.
  • Indian Series" of birth registrations.
  • Index to these records is available on microfiche. The new "update" set contains the full index to 1888.
Excluded:
  • Births from this period which were registered after 1888.
Marriages 1872-1933 Included:
  • All marriages registered with Vital Statistics in this time period.
  • "Indian Series" of marriage registrations.
  • Index to these records is also available on microfiche. The new "update" set contains the full index to 1933.
Excluded:
  • Marriages from this period which were registered after 1933.
Deaths 1872-1988 Included:
  • Deaths registered with Vital Statistics in this time period.
  • "Indian Series" of death registrations.
  • Index to these records is also available on microfiche. The new "update" set of Microfilm contains the full index to 1988.
  • Overseas Casualties for 1940 to 1945 is a separate series.