Free access to marriage records on MyHeritage includes a collection unique to Quebec

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, MyHeritage is offering free access to its collection of marriage records until February 17.

Access to these records usually requires a Complete or Data subscription, but for five days, they’re completely free to search. Simply register for a free MyHeritage account to begin.

Quebec collection worth exploring
One of my favourite collections available on MyHeritage is Quebec Marriage Returns, 1926-1997. These are not marriage registrations, but records created for statistical purposes by the provincial health department.

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.

From 1926 to 1997, the provincial government of Quebec 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.

Quebec collection — 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.

Quebec collection — 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 marriage 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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