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Genealogy and Family History

Explore your roots at VPL and beyond: resources and services for genealogists

Introduction

There are two types of B.C. coroners' records:

  • Inquests - investigations by a coroner's jury, leading to a ruling on the cause of death. Inquest files may comprise a variety of documents, including witness statements, transcripts, autopsy reports and other items.
    • Dates: 1859-1967
    •  
  • Inquiries - investigations carried out by a coroner alone. Documentation usually consists of a single form.
    • Dates: 1859-1970

BC Coroners' Records

RECORDS AT BRITISH COLUMBIA ARCHIVES

B.C. coroners' records for the years 1859-1970 are available at the B.C. Archives.

Access to inquiry records less than 100 years old and to all coroners' records created in or after 1911 must be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Section of the B.C. Archives before you can access them. For more information on these restrictions, visit B.C. Archives' B.C. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act web page.

RECORDS AT VPL

The Vancouver Public Library collection includes microfilm copies of inquest/inquiry documents from 1859-1892 and microfilm indexes to all B.C. coroners' records, 1879-1937. These microfilms are available on Level 6 at the Central Library. For more information on these microfilms and related resources, please see our British Columbia Coroners' Records booklist.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF CORONER

Inquests from 1968 onwards and inquiries from 1971 onwards are only accessible through the Office of the Chief Coroner.

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