The Thunder Bay Office of the Registrar General also has an email address but
they advised me a reply could take a month.
SOME INFORMATION ON RECENT CHANGES; NEW DETAILS
Recently I spoke with an employee of the Office of the Registrar General.
Genealogical searches were terminated in 1981 due to several reasons,
mainly that they conflicted with the Freedom of Information laws
(privacy); they were time consuming for staff; they were often
inaccurate due to illegible writing.
Entitlement rules have changed. For Births- the subject, the
parents or a person authorized by the subject can get a copy of the
certificate. For marriages- it is the bride or groom, their child
or again an authorized person. For deaths- anyone can get a certificate.
Next of Kin is defined as the closest person to the subject, their
executor, or their estate administrator. It includes spouse, child,
parent, or sibling. If none of them survive, the next of kin extends to
grandparents, aunts/uncles, 1st cousins, nieces/nephews, grandchildren.
Proof 'by statement' is acceptable to show qualification. In other
words you swear or state you are the entitled next of kin.
While normally a next of kin cannot obtain a birth certificate for an
individual, this can be done if you can create a birth-death link. This
means you need to supply or apply for a death certificate for the person
at the time you request their birth certificate. This method can be
used by many genealogists for obtaining a birth cert. for a grandparent
who is deceased, and for whom they have obtained or can obtain a death
certificate. PROOF of status as next of kin is now required, for
both privacy and security reasons.
Mailed in applications are presently taking 6-8 weeks to fill. They now accept
Visa, Mastercard and American Express. If your need is urgent, you may be able to
speed up the process by faxing them PROOF of urgency; for instance, copies of
Of note was a mention that IF REQUESTED they will copy an additional
page of medical information that accompanies the certificate. This is
not normally supplied unless specifically asked for. With the growing
number of genetic concerns people have, this is perhaps an important
thing to do.
Visit their website for further information.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NOT ON THE FORM: Be aware that if nothing is found, or if the surname of interest is not registered exactly as you enter it, you will get a not found answer from the office. NO refund is returned in this case, or any case for that matter. Due to privacy laws they will not guess that they have found the right record. From personal experience, they are not infallible either. A certificate I once requested gave a date of death that was NOT the same as the date that was on the photostatic copy obtained later. To prevent this type of problem, perhaps ask for the photostatic copy in the beginning, even though it could waste a bit more money if the event is not found. Each payment will give a search of a FIVE year period only. If you aren't sure of the exact date, be careful of what date you enter. If for instance you think the event was in say 1988, enter the date as 01/01/1988 and they will search a five year period centered on that date. In this example they would search from 01/01/1986 to 12/31/1990.
Bill Martin, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
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