Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Searchable Database For Manitoba Birth, Marriage and Death Records

For those with ancestors who lived in the Province of Manitoba, Canada, you can search for vitals statistics at Manitoba BMD. This website allows visitors unrestricted access to births, marriages and deaths registered in Manitoba for the following:

Births more than 100 years ago
Marriages more than 80 years ago
Deaths more than 70 years ago

One thing any family history researcher needs to realize is that the information requested on Manitoba BMD records changed over the years, with earlier records requiring less information. Some of the earliest birth records may not contain the father's name! If you want all of the information included on the record (and trust me, you do) you will need to get a certified copy of the record. Currently the cost of a certified copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate is $12.00CDN. If they have to do the actual search for you it will cost $25.00CDN. But, if you do a simple search on the website linked above, it will cost you half.

Here's an example of a search on the site. Let's say you are looking for the death certificate of your great-grandfather, John Smith, who was a farmer who died around 1896. You would open up the webpage and scroll down to the search area and input "Smith" in the box labeled Last Name. In the box labeled Given Name, you would put in "John". You could enter a location, but unless you know for sure where your great-grandfather died, just leave it blank. You could also leave the Date (Year) blank or put in 1896, but if you have the wrong year, you will have to either keep changing the year, or open the "Match Year" menu and select "or Earlier" or "or Later". I usually change the option "Please select the number of records per page" to 100 from the default that is set at 10. Anyone researching a name like John Smith knows that there will be a ton of results. So I then click "Search".

The results show one result:
DATE OF DEATH: 22/05/1896
AGE: 16


Most likely this is not your John Smith because it shows that this John Overet Smith died at age 16, so you would either remove the 1896 date and go through each of the results or use 1895 or 1897.

This could be also be used for birth and marriage records as well.

If you do find the record that you want, there is an option to "add it to your shopping cart". You can print an order form from the site and complete the form to be mailed or faxed to the Dept responsible for Vital Statistics. If your request is faxed, you will need to include credit card information as well as an authorizing signature.

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