Marriages and Divorces

Marriages

A marriage record provides some or all of the following details:

  • date and place of marriage
  • names of spouses, occupation and place of residence
  • names of parents of the bride and groom, and the name of a previous spouse
  • names of witnesses

Marriages are recorded in civil registration and/or in parish registers / church records.

Our Births, Marriages and Deaths Recorded in Canada database is an index to a few collections held at Library and Archives Canada that include some references to marriages. Be sure to read the database section called The records, to find out what records are included in that database.

Civil registration

The civil registration of births, marriages and deaths is a provincial and territorial responsibility. Information about those records, including how and where to access them, can be found on the following provincial and territorial information pages:

Marriage bonds and licences

Library and Archives Canada holds marriage bonds for Upper and Lower Canada. They are indexed and digitized in the following database: Marriage Bonds, 1779-1858 - Upper & Lower Canada

The database’s main page explains “What is a marriage bond?

The provincial archives in the Maritime Provinces also hold marriage bonds:

Marriage licences for Upper and Lower Canada before 1867 were not retained. However, some lists containing the names of persons to whom marriage licences were issued are held at Library and Archives Canada. They are indexed in our List of Marriage Licences Issued in Upper Canada (RG 5 B9) and Lower Canada (RG 4 B28)

Divorce

Our Acts of Divorce, 1841-1968 database includes references to divorce acts printed in federal government publications such as the Statutes of Canada.

The database main page includes a section on Other Resources, which provides information on records after 1968 and sources available in the provinces and territories.

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