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Marriage Bonds in Upper and Lower Canada

The Canada Genealogy Centre has published the databases of marriage bonds for Upper Canada and Lower Canada.

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Type: Article
Prepared by: E. B. Lapointe
Word Count: 442 (approx.)
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The Canada Genealogy Centre has published the databases of two collections on their website: the 7,899 marriage bonds for Upper Canada (Ontario), issued between 1803 and 1865; and 2,960 marriage bonds for Lower Canada (Quebec), issued between 1779 and 1858. The URL is <http://www.collectionscanada.ca/022/012/index-e.html>.

A marriage bond took place in Protestant churches before the marriage and was given by an acquaintance of the couple who could provide a surety that the marriage would take place and that there wasn't any legal reason why it couldn't. A license would be issued, and marriage would take place a few days later.

The marriage bond would include the name of the future husband, the name of the future wife, their place of residence, the name of the sureties, and the date and the name of the place where the bond was issued.

The search allows the researcher to research by the name of the future husband or wife.

The results will be the name of the future husband (surname and given name), the name of the future wife (surname and given name), and either the Upper Canada or the Lower Canada Marriage Bonds.

A more detailed research can follow if you wish to find the following -

  •   The name of the future husband (surname and given name)
  •   His place of residence
  •   The name of the future wife (surname and given name)   
  •   Her place of residence
  •   Remarks
  •   Reference
  •   Volume
  •   Bond number
  •   Date
  •   Microfilm Reel Number
The Library and Archives holds the original marriage bonds on microfilm. Each bond consists of a pre-printed form in English of one page.

The following lists the provinces and whether they have bonds on microfilm -
  • British Columbia - There are no marriage bonds.
  • Alberta - There are no marriage bonds.
  • Saskatchewan - There are no marriage bonds.
  • Manitoba -  There are no marriage bonds.
  • Ontario - The Archives of Ontario has marriage bonds of the Clerk of the Peace for the Eastern District in 1806 and 1807, and bonds from the Western District Clerk of the Peace between 1826 to 1835.
  • Quebec - It does not hold marriage bonds.
  • New Brunswick - The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has an online database of marriage bonds, 1810-1932.  
  • Nova Scotia - The Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management holds Files for Marriage Bonds for the years 1763 to 1871. An online database of marriage bonds from 1763 to 1849 is available.
  • Prince Edward Island - The Public Archives and Records Office holds marriage bonds from 1849 to 1902.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador - There are no marriage bonds.
  • Northwest Territories - There are no marriage bands.
  • Nunavut - There aren't any bonds for this area.
  • Yukon - There are no marriage bonds.<><>
Note: These records are sometimes difficult to read due to the fact that the original records can be in poor quality, and that they are published on microfilm.

Source Information: Canadian Connections, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2005.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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