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Marriage Records: Home

About Marriage Records

Marriage records typically show the name of the bride and groom, when a couple was married, the location of their marriage, the bride and groom's birth dates, and the names of their parents. These records are essential in establishing spousal relationships and help to define a family.

Info in this Guide

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

Types of Marriage Records

1)    Marriage Registrations

Marriage 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 define familial relationships since they list not only the spouse, but the parents of each spouse.

A marriage registration (a public document) is necessary to obtain a marriage certificate (personal document.) A couple's marriage must first be registered with the province in order to be issued a certificate confirming their marriage. Marriage 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, marriage registrations for the Province of Ontario are only available from 1869 - 1931. If you are looking for a marriage registration after 1932 you will need to apply for it from the Office of the Registrar General.

2)   Marriage Announcement

Another resource to obtain a marriage record is a marriage 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 marriage announcements 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)   Church Records

Another resource for marriage records are Church records. Church records are often the only resource for pre-1869 marriages.