11 December 2012

BC civil registration from the Royal BC Museum/Archives

At least three people have mentioned to me the civil registration records for British Columbia now freely available online through The Royal BC Museum/Archives.  They're likely puzzled as to why I didn't mentioned them before.

The site at http://search collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Genealogy/BasicSearch contains indexes to births (1854-1903), marriages (1872-1936), deaths (1872-1991), colonial marriages (1859-1872) and baptisms (1836-1888). There's the option of using wildcards, all nicely explained in a quick search guide at http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Docs/GenealogyBasic.pdf

Many of these records have been available elsewhere.

Some have been, and still are available as transcriptions through FamilySearch. Their birth records are for 1854-1903, marriages 1859-1932, deaths 1872-1986. What's extra at the new site is four additional years of marriages, five of deaths and the baptismal records and original record images where available.

In addition FamilySearch has BC records for: Crown Land Grants, 1869-1930; Dominion Land Branch Records, 1885-1949; Estate Files, 1859-1949; Naturalization Records, 1859-1926; Victoria Times Birth, Marriage and Death notices, 1901-1939; Wills, 1861-1981.

Ancestry also has a BC collection including civil registration transcriptions missing a few later years, and others including: 42,740 items in Border Entries and Passenger Lists, 1894-1905; 21,206 items in the Central Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, Newspaper Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes, 1917-1990; and smaller databases. Not to forget that Ancestry's federal census and voters lists also include BC residents.

What good about the new site is it's easy to use, it has a few additional years, and most important, the availability of original images for some records.

Thanks to the folks who pointed out the site.

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