Free access to MyHeritage marriage records includes a gem from Quebec

From February 10 to 16, MyHeritage is offering free access to its 158 marriage collections with 462,808,849 records in all.

During this limited-time offer, you’ll be able to access these records freely even if you’re not a paid subscriber, but free registration to MyHeritage will be required for non-MyHeritage users.

The greatest number of marriage collections are American, followed by the United Kingdom and Europe. Several collections are indexes only.

Canadian gem
The Canadian marriage collections, unfortunately, don’t offer much — but there is one fabulous exception.

The Quebec Statistical Returns of Marriage, 1926-1997, are a goldmine for genealogists. They are only available on the subscription sites MyHeritage and Genealogy Quebec.

If it’s possible you have even one relative who may have married during this period, you must check it out.

These statistical returns (forms), numbering almost eight million, are unique to Quebec. They were completed by members of the clergy or officiants who conducted a marriage, in order for the government to compile statistics. Most, but not all, officiants submitted the form.

From 1926 to 1997, the government introduced four or five different statistical return forms, each with its own set of questions. Some years, more information was required than others.

The information provided included the bride and groom’s date and location of birth, place of residence before and after marriage, occupation and employer’s name, religion, citizenship, racial origin, father’s location of birth, and where the marriage took place. Some forms also include the names of the witnesses and whether or not the bridal couple could read or write.

Search tip
Sometimes names are misspelled in the indexing, so try variations and also try searching by only the surname or first name. And remember not every officiant submitted a form for every marriage performed.

If the timing of the free MyHeritage offer isn’t convenient, you can also search this collection on Genealogy Quebec where a 24-hour subscription is $5, one month is $13, and one year is $100.

Researcher beware
As with a number of records genealogists research, the information in these statistical returns is only as accurate as what the informant provided. In the case of my brother-in-law’s return, he indicated his father was born in Hearst, Ontario. While his father did move to Hearst with his parents and siblings when he was about five years old, he was born in Montreal.

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