This morning the Lambton Room received an exciting package in the mail. It contained the latest round of Ontario Vital Statistics. We now have a new year’s worth of records pertaining to births, marriages and deaths in the province of Ontario. We have birth registrations up to and including 1914; marriage registrations up to and including 1929; and death registrations up to and including 1939.
About fifteen minutes before the package arrived, I had just been discussing with one of my co-workers about the status of our vital statistics order, and when I anticipated they would arrive. Avid genealogists are often waiting to swoop in and have a look at the latest year’s worth of vital statistics, to flesh out their research.
The Archives of Ontario’s Introduction to Vital Statistics asserts, “these records are restricted until they have been made publicly available,” but does not offer any additional explanations about the reasons behind these restrictions. Familyhistoryalive.com explains that because of Ontario’s privacy laws, records of a private and sensitive nature cannot be released until a specified period of time has elapsed. Birth records are kept secret until 95 years after they occurred; marriages for 80 years; and deaths for 70 years.While it is important to respect these privacy laws, it’s annoying for researchers who are aware these statistics are locked up in a vault and being released at a frustratingly slow pace!
For this year, we have received our newest wave of Ontario Vital Statistics, and that is something to celebrate! So come out to the Lambton Room and look up those birth, marriage or death records that have been eluding you.