Prince Edward Island Civil Registration

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For research strategies and additional ideas, see Canada Vital Records, How to Locate Your Ancestor in Canada, and How to Recognize your Canadian Ancestor

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Civil governments have created records of births, marriages, and deaths. Records containing this information are commonly called "vital records," because they refer to critical events in a person's life. These are the most important documents for genealogical research, although the births, marriages, and deaths of many people have never been recorded by civil authorities.

Prince Edward Island became a province of Canada in 1873.

Vital records[edit | edit source]

A few marriage records for the area date back to 1787. Official registration of births and deaths began in 1906. Prince Edward Island marriage records began in 1787. Birth and death records began in 1906. Records are more complete after 1920.

  • Most official vital records of birth, marriage, and death for Prince Edward Island must be requested on forms available from the Office of Vital Statistics.
  • Most vital records for Prince Edward Island for years before 1906 are at the Public Archives and Records Office.

The Public Archives and Records Office has:

  • Marriage licenses for years between 1787 and 1831. Years from 1813 to 1824are missing.
  • A second series of marriage licenses for years from 1831 to 1919.
  • Marriage bonds from 1849 to 1902.
  • A few records of birth, marriage, and death for years between 1906 and 1912. Those records were kept by district registrars in some of the island's 67 "lots" (townships).

You must visit the PARO or hire a researcher there to use them.

Information from the licenses and bonds and other sources was copied into Marriage Registers that are at the PARO for years between 1832 and 1923. The Marriage Registers for years between 1832 and 1888 have been microfilmed and are at the Family History Library.

Vital records substitutes[edit | edit source]

Some births, marriages, and deaths not recorded in vital records may be in church records. Church records and other sources were used to prepare the following:

  • Prince Edward Island Card Index to Deaths Prior to 1906. This is at the Public Archives and Records Office and is available on microfilm at the Family History Library and through Family History Centers.
  • Master Name Index [First Series]. Prepared by the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation. This is available on microfilm at the Family History Library and through Family History Centers.
  • Pre-1886 Baptisms. This is at the Public Archives and Records Office.
  • Index to Baptisms 1886-1905. This is at the Division of Vital Statistics.

What should I search next?

First look for vital records of other family members, such as a spouse, brothers or sisters, parents, and children. For further information about this research principle, see Your Ancestor Had A FAN Club

Then search for family information in records such as:

  • Censuses.
  • Church records.
  • Cemetery records.
  • Obituaries.
  • Birth, marriage, and death notices in newspapers.
  • Local histories.
  • Immigration records, especially border crossings.
  • Family letters and Bibles.
  • Military records.
  • Lineage society records, such as United Empire Loyalists.