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Death Records: Home

About Death Records

Death records typically show the name of the deceased, date of death, the location of death, their occupation, and cause of death. These records are essential in confirming date of birth and more recent death records confirm parental relationship.

Info in this Guide

By clicking on the tabs above, you can find info on:

Types of Death Records

1)  Death Registrations

Death registrations were required by the Province of Ontario starting in 1869. These records are a major document in a person's life, and help to confirm identity since they list a birth date. Later death records also list parent's names and help to confirm parental relationships.

A death registration (a public document) is necessary to obtain a death certificate (personal document.) An individual's death must first be registered with the province in order for the family to be issued a certificate confirming their death. Death registrations are closed records for a certain period of time in order to protect the privacy of citizens. Each year, the Office of the Registrar General transfers another year of records to the Archives of Ontario which in turn makes these records publically available. Thus, death registrations for the Province of Ontario are only available from 1869 - 1941. If you are looking for a death registration after 1942 you will need to apply for it from the Office of the Registrar General.

2) Obituary Announcement

Another resource to obtain a death record is an obituary announcement in a newspaper. Many local newspapers are indexed so that you merely need to consult the alphabetical index to find the issue of the newspaper in which the announcement appeared. A tip for Lambton County obituaries is to check the Sarnia Observer as it was and is the largest newspaper in the region, as well as the smaller weekly newspapers for the community in which your ancestors lived.

3)   Cemetery Transcriptions

Another resource for death records are cemetery transcriptions. Often cemetery transcriptions are the only source of death information for early pioneers who died before the province-wide death registration system.