Vital Statistics Part 4 – Manitoba and Saskatchwan

Well, we\’ve made it through the Maritimes, Ontario, and Quebec. Now we\’re going to start across the Prairies and look at Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Source: http://ontheworldmap.com/canada/province/manitoba/manitoba-road-map.html

Manitoba
Although Manitoba became a province in 1870, civil registration did not begin until 1882. However, compliance was an issue until around 1920. Therefore the records before 1920 are sporadic.

Unlike the other provinces we\’ve looked at so far, all records are held at the Vital Statistics Agency. They do not transfer older records to the Provincial Archives.

If you click on the website\’s \”genealogy\” link, it says that certain records are not restricted. They are;
  • Births 100 years or older
  • Marriages 80 years or older
  • Deaths 70 years or older
Search and document fees are $30.00. 

All other records are restricted. These records have the following criteria for access:

Birth certificates:

  • Person named on the certificate
  • Parents named on the certificate, or the child\’s legal guardian (proof of guardianship required)
  • Representative of one of the above (written proof must accompany the application)
Marriage certificates:
  • Either party of the marriage
  • Parents or children of the parties if both are deceased
  • Representative of one of the above (written proof must accompany the request)
Death certificates:
Anyone with a valid reason can get a death certificate. Only next of kin of the deceased can get a copy of a death registration.
The FamilySearch Wiki link for Manitoba is here
Ancestry\’s BMD collection for Manitoba is here
Cyndi\’s List\’s Manitoba BMD links are here
Source: http://ontheworldmap.com/canada/province/saskatchewan/saskatchewan-road-map.html
Saskatchewan
Even though Saskatchewan didn\’t become a province until 1905, there are records of civil registration that go back as far as 1878. Like Manitoba though, they were not strictly enforced until around 1920.
Again like Manitoba, there are no BMDs transferred to Provincial Archives. All records are kept at Vital Statistics eHealth Saskatchewan.
Under the \”genealogy\” tab, it states that you can access their Genealogy Index for:
  • Births more than 100 years old
  • Marriages more than 75 years old
  • Deaths more than 70 years old
Take note: This is a new work in progress from the looks of things. Births are indexed. Deaths are available up to 1916. Marriages are NOT available yet.
Once you have located the record in the index, you can then order a genealogical copy for $50.00. It will be stamped on it \”for genealogical purposes only\”. I don\’t have any Saskatchewan ancestors that I know of, but I put in \”John McDonald\”. He\’s my biggest brick wall ancestor. I know he wasn\’t born in Saskatchewan. Trust me though, that has got to be one of the most common names in early Canada, so I knew I would get lots of hits. I got 17 results in births, and 23 in deaths.
Now, Saskatchewan seems to have much stricter policies than other provinces to access to copies of records. These guidelines apply no matter if the record falls into the time frames above or not:
Birth certificates:
  • Person named on the certificate if they are over 15 years old
  • Parents listed on the certificate if the person is under 18 years old
  • Legal guardian (proof must be submitted with application)
  • Representative of one of the above (proof must be submitted with application)
  • A person who needs it to prove Metis or Treaty Status (proof must be provided with application)
  • Court appointed Guardian or Trustee of the person named
  • Representative of Social Services of First Nations Child and Family Services acting on the person\’s behalf
  • A Saskatchewan court order or subpoena (copy of order must be submitted)
  • A spouse ONLY if the person is deceased
Marriage certificates:
  • Either party of the marriage
  • An adult child of the marriage
  • A representative of any of the above (written authorization required)
  • Legal custodian of one of the above (proof required)
  • A person needing to prove Metis or Treaty Status (proof required)
  • Representative of one of the parties\’ estate (proof required)
  • Saskatchewan court order or subpoena (copy of order must be submitted)
Death certificates;
  • Spouse if married at time of death. I assume this means the divorced spouse cannot apply.
  • The parent named on the registered birth of the deceased
  • An adult child of the deceased (18 years or older)
  • Legal custodian of one of the deceased (proof required)
  • Representative of the estate (proof required)
  • A person needing to prove Metis or Treaty Status (proof required)
  • Saskatchewan court order or subpoena (copy of order must be submitted)
  • A person who is a joint tenant and needs to prove death for land title purposes (proof of joint tenancy required)
  • Death registrations can only be given to professionals either involved in the death registration, or needing it in the course of their duties
As well, for any of the above, you will also need to submit one piece of government ID as proof of who you are. Or, you can submit two pieces of non photo ID, but one of them must have your signature. 
FamilySearch wiki on Saskatchewan BMD is here
Ancestry\’s Saskatchewan BMD collection is here
Cyndi\’s Lists\’s Saskatchewan civil registration links are here
In Part 5 we will look at Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

2 thoughts on “Vital Statistics Part 4 – Manitoba and Saskatchwan

  1. In doing my research for this post, I was quite surprised how expensive and restrictive access is for these provinces. I can only surmise that it is because their BMD collections start so much later than other provinces. 1920, when the bulk of their collections are complete, is less than 100 years ago. Most of my personal research has been in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The access is much easier and the cost much lower. But then by comparison these are much older areas of Canada in terms of settlement.

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