Parish registers are an important source for information on births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials. For you to locate relevant records, you must know the place and the religious denomination of a person. Religious denomination is indicated in Census records.
The first parish register was created in Quebec City as early as 1616; the oldest record dates back to 1621. There is no central repository for parish registers in Canada. Many are in the custody of individual churches, genealogical societies, religious archives and provincial and territorial archives and libraries.
Library and Archives Canada holds only a small collection of parish registers, none of which are comprehensive for any region. Most are transcripts rather than originals, available on microfilm and listed in our Checklist of Parish Registers (ISBN 0660538636). Due to the heavy volume of inquiries we receive, we are unable to conduct searches in parish registers. Find out how to access the records.
Our holdings can be identified by using Archives Search. Select "Textual material" to limit your search.
Keywords: name of place or religious denomination with "church records," "registres de paroisses," "registers of births," "marriage records," "registers of marriages," "death registers," "burials," "baptisms," "baptêmes," "mariages," "sépultures".
The descriptions of the records are written in the language of the actual parish registers.
Some of the church records have nominal indexes. To provide better access to those indexes, the information they contain has been entered in a database that will expand slowly over the next few years. Consult our Births, Marriages and Deaths Recorded in Canada database.
Some genealogical societies, mostly those in the province of Quebec, have undertaken projects to index entries from parish registers, mostly for marriages. These volumes are called "church indexes" or more commonly "mariages répertoires"
They generally provide:
- names of the bride and groom;
- date of marriage;
- place of marriage; and
- names of parents.
For the province of Quebec, all the registers of catholic parishes have been indexed with the exception of the Gaspé area and some for the city of Montreal. "Répertoires" also exist for baptism and burial records, but there are not many of them.
Library and Archives Canada has a collection of these "répertoires".
Search for the "répertoires" of a particular parish in Library Search - Aurora, using keywords such as:
- registers of births Quebec
- Windsor genealogy
- Berthier mariages
- Manitoba marriages
Many indexes covering extensive geographical areas exist for marriages. Those indexes can be consulted at Library and Archives Canada and in many genealogical societies, religious archives and provincial and territorial archives and libraries throughout Canada.
- Fichier Loiselle: Index for Catholic marriages that occurred in the province of Quebec, some parts of Ontario and New Brunswick, and New England, mostly between 1750 and early 1900s.
- Drouin Collection: Different indexes for French-Canadian Catholic marriages,1760-1935, including La Masculine (The Men Series), La Féminine (The Women Series) and the Kardex.
- Fichier Histor: This index includes all Catholic and Protestant marriages in Quebec from 1730 to 1825, and also marriages in the Western French Forts such as Detroit (Series C) and Acadian marriages (Series D).
- Jacques-Henri Fabien Collection (MG 25 G231): This collection of microfilm consists of genealogical information over the period 1657 to 1974, distributed on more than 250,000 cards, mostly for marriages, that indicate date and place, names of spouses and their parents. The collection includes parishes in the Outaouais region of Québec and Ontario, some parishes in Eastern and Northern Ontario, counties of Pontiac, Vaudreuil, Châteauguay, Huntingdon, Beauharnois, l'Assomption, Laval, Deux-Montagnes and Argenteuil, in Quebec.
List of microfilm for genealogical information from counties surrounding the island of Montreal
||BEAUCHAMP, M. Thérèse|
||BEAUCHAMP, M. Véronique
||DUBOIS, Marie Louise|
||DUBOIS, Marie Marguerite
||FORGET, Jean Euclide|
||GALLANT, Joseph Daniel|
||GALLANT, J. Emmanuel
||HACHEY (HACHÉ), Alfreda
||LECLAIR (LECLERC), Arthur
||MARTIN, J. Robert|
||NADON, Blanche Aurore|
||PAQUET, Marie Éva|
||PAQIJET, M. Frse.
||PÉRIARD (PÉRILLARD), J.|
||PÉRIARD (PÉRILLARD), J.
||PRÉZAU (PRESSEAULT) Marie Louise|
||PRESSEAULT, Marie Louise
||RIOPELLE (RIOPEL), Emery|
||SÉGUIN, Jean Baptiste
||VINETTE (VINET), Lise|
||VINETTE (VINET), Louis Joseph
List of microfilm for genealogical information from counties in Eastern Ontario and Outaouais region
||BELLAIRE (BÉLAIR), Walter
||CHARBONNEAU, Henri J-Bte|
||DAVEY (DAVY), Edward|
||D'AURAY (DORÉ), Jérémie|
||LAPERIÈRE (LAPERRIÈRE), Auguste Jules|
||LE ROY, Robert William|
||LeROYER, Beauport Ch.
||MARTIN, James Harold
||OAKLEY, Patrick Edward|
||PERIER (PERRIER), Oscar
||SÉGUIN, Félicise (Philias)|
||VÉZEAU, Jean Guy