Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Tuesday's Tip: Research in the Ontario Marriage Records, 1826-1937

The record collection for Ontario Marriage Records, 1826-1937 is one of my favorite record collections.  It is online at Ancestry.com with 9,357,444 name indexed entries.  Note that this is a collection of over 3 million marriage register indexed entries and record images filed between 1826 and 1937.

The original source for this online collection is the 
Ontario, Canada, Select Marriages, from the Archives of Ontario, Toronto.

On Ancestry.com, the user will find this collection search page in the Card Catalog:

The description of the information in this record collection is (from the Ancestry.com collection page):
This database is a collection of approximately 3.3 million marriages recorded in Ontario, Canada between 1826 and 1937. The indexes contained in this collection were created by two different organizations – Ancestry and the Genealogical Research Library in Brampton, Ontario. The following list is a breakdown of the records included in this database and who created the index to them.
Indexed by Ancestry (includes images of the records):
  • Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1937 (MS 932, Archives of Ontario)
  • Division Registrar Vital Statistics Records, 1858-1918 (MS 940, Archives of Ontario) [However, there are very few marriages in this record set.]
  • Marriage License Books, 1907-1910 (MS 945, Archives of Ontario)
  • Delayed Registrations of Marriages, 1892-1919 (MS 948, Archives of Ontario)
  • District Marriage Registers, 1801-1858 (MS 248, Archives of Ontario)
  • Roman Catholic Marriage Registers, 1828-1870 (MS 248, Archives of Ontario)
Indexed by Genealogical Research Library (no images available):
  • Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1919 (MS 932, Archives of Ontario)
  • County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869 (microfilm, Family History Library) (the FHL microfilm is of Archives of Ontario microfilm series MS 248, reels 5-18)
*Note: Notice that both Ancestry and the Genealogical Research Library indexed Registrations of Marriages (MS 932). Therefore, there are many marriages that will appear in this database at least twice, from the same original source. By including both indexes in this database, researchers may be better enabled to find their ancestors.
What kind of information can I find in this database?
The type of information available in marriage records varies according to the time period and the person/agency creating the record. However, generally the following information is available in this database:
  • Names of each spouse
  • Ages of each spouse
  • Residences of each spouse
  • Birthplaces of each spouse
  • Names of both spouses’ parents
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place (county)
  • Source Information (a Family History Library or an Archives of Ontario microfilm number)
Additional information may be found on the original record. Be sure to view the corresponding image, if there is one available. If no online image is available, be sure to use the information found in this database to locate your ancestor in the original records that the index references – more information is usually available in the records themselves than is found in an index.
About Marriages in Ontario:
Civil registration of marriages Province-wide began in 1869. Prior to that time, ministers, priests, and other persons qualified to perform marriages submitted copies of their documentation to county courthouses. The vast majority of these marriage documents included details about each spouse, including place of residence and birthplace. Additionally, each spouse had to supply names of their parents. In many cases the maiden name is supplied for the mother.
Many of these spouses were born in various European countries or in the United States. Thus, this information could be valuable for Canadians and Americans, as well as Europeans wishing to trace a family member who got married in Ontario before moving on to settle in other parts of Canada or America.
I searched for Seaver as a last name, checked the Exact box, and saw 18 results:

I clicked on the first match, and saw the information extracted for the marriage of Dewey Lefavor Seaver and Evelyn Winifred Sykes:

As you can see, this record summary provides the person's name, age, birth year, birth place, marriage date, marriage place, father's name, mother's name, and spouse's name.  The user can click on the spouse's name to see that person's information.

Plus, there is an image of this marriage record with even more information:

The "prizes" on these records with images are the names, birth places, father's names, mother's names, marriage date, marriage place, and witnesses.  

For the indexed-only records, they are usually limited to the names of the bridge and groom, the marriage date, and marriage place.

For my key surnames, this collection has these numbers of exact records:

*  Seaver:           18

*  Kemp:       1,387

*  Sovereen:       54

*  Carringer:        0

*  Auble:             0

*  Vaux:             10

The Ancestry "database number" for this collection is 7921.  I have over 360 profiles in my Ancestry Family Tree with a pending Hint in this collection.  I know that I have collected some of the entries already.

FamilySearch has a similar collection for Ontario marriages between 1869 and 1927 in 

Findmypast has no similar collection.

MyHeritage has no similar collection.

Library and Archives Canada has information about Ontario Marriages, but refers to the Ancestry.com and Familysearch databases for access.

The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services web page has information about Ontario Marriages, but refers to the Ancestry.com and FamilySearch databases for access.


NOTE:  Tuesday's Tips is a genealogy blog meme intended to provide information about a resource helpful to genealogists and family historians, especially in the U.S. online genea-world.

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