NL GenWeb, frequently asked
What is the difference between Parish Records &
In the 1940's, the Department of Public Health and Welfare (DPHW) asked
the various churches in Newfoundland and Labrador to copy and submit
their pre 1891 records of baptisms and marriages. Not all churches
complied with the request, and the majority that did were of the
Protestant faiths. Burial records were not requested by the DPHW, but
some of the churches transcribed and submitted them anyhow. These pre
1891 transcribed records were then compiled into volumes of Vital
By Bonnie Hickey
If you contact the Vital Statistics Division of the government of
Newfoundland or the Provincial Archives (PANL) and request the birth
record of your ancestor who was born before 1891, what you will receive
(if you are lucky enough to receive anything) is a true copy of a
1940ish copy of a parish record. If you request a pre 1891 burial
record, your chances of receiving anything are very slim because few of
the churches submitted burial/death records to the government.
If you contacted the Department of Health or the PANL and did not
receive the info you were looking for, it does not mean that the
information is not available. Remember, some of the churches
did not submit their pre 1891 baptisms and marriages to the government.
That means that the information may still be available, but not through
the government, only through church parish records.
NL GenWeb FAQ