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Genealogy and Family History

What to Search: Topics

Births, Marriages and Deaths

Births / Baptisms

A birth or baptismal record generally provides:

  • date of birth and/or baptism;
  • name of the person;
  • name of the father, occupation, place of residence and name of themother; and
  • names of the godfather and godmother.

Baptismal certificate of James Dickson, son of Thomas Sawtell. 23 April 1840. Library and Archives Canada, MG 8 F89, vol. 8, p. 4546-4547, reel C-14034


Baptismal certificate of James Dickson,
son of Thomas Sawtell.
23 April 1840.
Library and Archives Canada,
MG 8 F89, vol. 8, p. 4546-4547, reel C-14034.

Births are recorded in parish registers or in civil registers.

As civil registration (birth, marriage and death records) is not a federal jurisdiction, Library and Archives Canada does not hold the civil registers and does not issue certificates.

Records of Canadian Births Abroad

The Department of National Defence used to issue a Certificate of Birth (DND419) for Service dependents born outside Canada. They were never permitted to be used as legal proof of birth and they have since been discontinued. Registration of Birth Abroad Certificates are also no longer issued.

Only the country in which a person was born can issue a birth certificate. You can request an International Birth Certificate from the registrar in the place where you were born. Include your name, date of birth (with the month written in full), place of birth and parents' names. Include a self-addressed envelope and an international money order in the amount of 7 Euros.

If you were born in Germany, you can request more information from the nearest Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany. Information about requesting a birth certificate from Germany can also be found on the Web site of the German Consular Offices in the United States. [ otherconsularservices/birth_certificate_from_germany.html]

If you were born in France, you can request more information from your nearest General Consulate of France. []

Dependents born outside Canada to Canadian parents/Service members prior to 1977 should obtain a Canadian Citizenship Certificate, which is legal proof of citizenship. An Application for a Citizenship Certificate must be submitted to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Applications forms can be obtained by calling their toll-free number at 1-888-242-2100 or downloaded from their Web site from the Citizenship Applications page [].