Difference between revisions of "Nova Scotia Church Records"

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The Public Archives of Nova Scotia has many original church registers as well as microfilm copies. The Protestant registers generally cover 1780–1914. There are Catholic records 1679–1914. A list of these holdings can be found in ''Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia'', by Terrence M. Punch.
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{{Nova Scotia-sidebar}}{{breadcrumb
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| link1=[[Canada Genealogy|Canada]]
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| link2=[[Nova Scotia Genealogy|Nova Scotia]]
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| link3=
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| link4=
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| link5=[[Nova_Scotia_Church_Records|Church Records]]
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}}
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<div style="float:right; width:40%">
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{|
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|-
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|style="border:1px solid DarkBlue; margin:70px; background:GhostWhite; width 15%; padding-right:15px; padding-left:15px; height:50px "|
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<center>'''For greater success, use all the Wiki Articles in this series:'''</center>
 +
*[[Determining the Church Your Ancestor Attended in Canada|'''Determining the Church Your Ancestor Attended in Canada''']]
 +
*[[What Can I Find in Canadian Church Records?|'''What Can I Find in Canadian Church Records?''']]
 +
*[[Canada Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''Searching for Church Records by Denomination''' ]]
 +
*[[Canada Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Canadian Province|'''Searching for Church Records by Canadian Province''']]
 +
|}
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</div>
 +
------
 +
==Historical Background==
 +
In 1871, the largest religious denominations were Protestant with 103,500 (27%); Roman Catholic with 102,000 (26%); Baptist with 73,295 (19%); Anglican with 55,124 (14%); Methodist with 40,748 (10%), Lutheran with 4,958 (1.3%); and Congregationalist with 2,538 (0.65%).[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_Scotia#Religion Wikipedia]
  
Church records, besides those above, are generally found in the individual parishes or congregations or in church-diocesan archive centers. For more information concerning the whereabouts of certain registers, contact the appropriate denomination below:
+
==Information Found in the Records==
 +
To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:
 +
{|
 +
|-
 +
|style="vertical-align:top; padding-right:30px"|
 +
*[[What Can I Find in Canadian Church Records?#Baptisms or Christenings|Baptisms or Christenings]]
 +
*[[What Can I Find in Canadian Church Records?#Marriages|Marriages]]
 +
|style="vertical-align:top; padding-right:30px"|
 +
*[[What Can I Find in Canadian Church Records?#Funerals or Burials|Funerals or Burials]]
 +
*[[What Can I Find in Canadian Church Records?#Membership Lists|Membership Lists]]
 +
|style="vertical-align:top; padding-right:30px"|
 +
*[[What Can I Find in Canadian Church Records?#Minutes or Historical Narrative|Minutes or Historical Narrative]]
 +
|}
  
=== Anglican ===
+
==Finding the Records==
 +
===Look for online records.===
 +
'''Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local [https://www.familysearch.org/help/fhcenters/locations/ family history center] or the [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Family_History_Library Family History Library] in Salt Lake City, Utah.
 +
<br>
  
Diocese of Nova Scotia<br>Attention: Archivist<br>5732 College Street<br>Halifax, NS B3H 1X3<br>CANADA<br>Telephone: 902-420-0717<br>Fax: 902-425-0717 <br>Internet: http://www.nspeidiocese.ca/
+
{|
 +
|-
 +
|
 +
[[File:Caution sign.png|70px]]
 +
|
 +
Online databases are <span style="color:Red">'''incomplete'''</span>. This can lead to two common errors:
 +
#'''Near matches:''' Researchers might <span style="color:Red">'''mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor'''</span>, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
 +
#'''Stopping research''': Researchers might <span style="color:Red">'''assume the database proves church records do not exist'''</span>.  Actually the record is still out there, just not in this <span style="color:Red">'''incomplete'''</span> collection of records.  Keep searching!
 +
|}
 +
----
 +
*[https://archives.novascotia.ca/churches/ Church Records at Nova Scotia Archives]
 +
*[http://www.genealogysearch.org/canada/novascotia.html Church Listings by County at Nova Scotia Genealogy Records Online]
 +
*[http://www.telusplanet.net/public/mtoll/ns.htm Nova Scotia Church Records Links at Mary's Genealogical Treasures]
 +
====Indexes====
 +
*'''1702-1896''' - {{RecordSearch|1810407|Nova Scotia, Births and Baptisms, 1702-1896}}, index.
 +
*'''1711-1909''' - {{RecordSearch|1810409|Nova Scotia Marriages, 1711-1909}}, index.
 +
*'''1720-2001''' - {{RecordSearch|1925428|Nova Scotia, Church Records, 1720-2001}} Index and images.
 +
*'''1727-1884''' - {{RecordSearch|2365251|Nova Scotia, Church and Civil Records, 1727-1884}}, index.
  
Written authorization is required to use these records. Some searches can be made by mail.
+
====Catholic====
 +
*'''1695-1954''' - [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1111 '''Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954'''] ($) (Ancestry).
 +
*'''1823-1905''' - [https://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=61506&cj=1&netid=cj&o_xid=0005737308&o_lid=0005737308&o_sch=Affiliate+External Nova Scotia, Canada, Antigonish Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1823-1905], index and images, ($).
 +
*'''1823-1905''' - {{RecordSearch|1392507|Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese, 1823-1905}} Index and images.
 +
*'''1757-1946''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1110/ '''Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1757-1946''']], index and images, ($)
 +
====Dutch Reformed====
 +
*'''1856-1970''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60524/ U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Vital Records, 1856-1970], index and images, incomplete.($)
 +
*'''1856-1970''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60767/ U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Membership Records, 1856-1970], index and images, incomplete.($)
  
=== Baptist ===
+
===Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog. ===
 +
[[File:Family History Library.jpg|right|thumb|<center>'''Family History Library'''<br>'''Salt Lake City, Utah'''</center>]]
 +
*The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] (FHL) has microfilmed and/or digitized records for churches in the Canada.
 +
*Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under Prince Edward Island, the county, or a town.
 +
*Because the churches gave copies of their records to the government for civil registration, search under both thhe '''"Church records"''' and '''"Civil registration"''' topics.
 +
*If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see [https://beta.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/how-do-i-request-that-a-microfilm-be-digitized '''How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?''']
 +
*Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a [https://www.familysearch.org/help/fhcenters/locations/ '''Family History Center'''] near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. 
 +
*To find records:
 +
:::a. Click on the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=308&query=%2Bplace%3A%22Canada%2C%20Nova%20Scotia%22 '''records of Canada, Nova Scotia'''].
 +
:::b. Click on the '''"Church records"''' and '''"Civil registration"''' topics. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::c. Or, click on '''Places within Canada, Nova Scotia''' at the top of the page, and a list of provinces will appear.
 +
:::d. Click on your province.
 +
:::e. Click on the '''"Church records"''' and '''"Civil registration"''' topics. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::f. Next, click on '''Places within Canada, Nova Scotia, [COUNTY]''' and a list of towns will appear.
 +
:::g. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village. 
 +
:::h. Click on the '''"Church records"''' and '''"Civil registration"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::i. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. [[File:FHL icons.png|75px]].  The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.
  
Vaughn Memorial Library<br>Acadia University<br>Wolfville, NS B0P 1X0<br>CANADA<br>Telephone: 902-585-1249<br>Fax: 902-585-1073 <br>Internet: http://library.acadiau.ca/archives<br>Internet: [http://luxor.acadiau.ca/lib2006/guides/history/newsa.html http://luxor.acadiau.ca/lib2006/guides/history/newsa.html<br>]
+
-----
  
The Atlantic Baptist Historical Collection does not contain birth, baptism, marriage, or death certificates. The most useful genealogical information is the list of church members; it usually gives the dates members were received into the church, their date of baptism, and, if applicable, the date of their dismissal from the church.
+
-----
 +
===Consult available finding aids.===
 +
'''These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.'''
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1050249 '''Locality index to church records in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia collection, ca. 1750-1940's''']
 +
----
 +
===Correspond with or visit the actual churches.===
 +
Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.
 +
*'''Make an appointment''' to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
 +
*To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
 +
*Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname". 
 +
*A '''donation''' ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
 +
*If the church has a website, you may be able to '''e-mail a message'''.
 +
*See the [[Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy|'''Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy''']] for help with composing letters.
 +
====Addresses====
 +
*[http://churchdirectory.ca/ '''Canadian Church Directory''']
 +
*Each [[Canada Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''denomination page''']] offers an [[Canada Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''online address directory of local churches''']] for that denomination.
  
=== Catholic ===
+
===Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.===
 +
Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to '''digitized, online records''' offered by the archives. Some archives provide '''research services''' for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.<br>
 +
<br>
 +
<span style="color:DarkViolet">'''Here you will find archive information unique to the province. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational  archives, go to  [[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''Searching for Church Records by Denomination.''']]</span>
 +
----
 +
====Provincial Archives====
 +
[https://archives.novascotia.ca/ '''Nova Scotia Archives''']<br>
 +
6016 University Avenue<br>
 +
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 1W4<br>
 +
<br>
 +
Tel: 902-424-6060<br>     
 +
Fax: 902-424-0628<br>
 +
E-mail:archives@novascotia.ca
 +
*[https://archives.novascotia.ca/genealogy-guide '''Genealogy Guide''']
 +
*[https://archives.novascotia.ca/reference-research '''Reference and Research''']
 +
*[https://novascotia.ca/archives/churches/ '''Church Records Search Engine''']
 +
*[https://archives.novascotia.ca/hiring-researcher '''Hiring a Researcher''']
 +
----
 +
==== Anglican  ====
 +
[http://www.nspeidiocese.ca/  '''Diocese of Nova Scotia''']<br>Attention: Archivist<br>5732 College Street<br>Halifax, NS B3H 1X3<br>CANADA<br>Telephone: 902-420-0717<br>Fax: 902-425-0717
  
Most registers are still found in the individual parishes. Sometimes information can be obtained from:
+
====Baptist====
 +
[https://archives.acadiau.ca/baptist '''Atlantic Baptist Archives''']<br>
 +
Acadia University <br>
 +
[https://library.acadiau.ca/archives.html Esther Clark Wright Archives]<br>
 +
Vaughan Memorial Library Special Collections<br>
 +
Acadia University<br>
 +
P.O. Box 4<br>
 +
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6<br>
 +
Canada<br>
 +
E-mail: archives@acadiau.ca<br>
 +
Reference Desk: (902) 585-1011<br>
 +
*[https://archives.acadiau.ca/baptist '''List of Holdings''']
 +
::The Atlantic Baptist Archives at Acadia University preserves the records of nearly 800 Baptist Churches in Atlantic Canada. These archival finding aids are inventories of some, but not all, church records in the Archives. New finding aids will continue to be added as they are created.
 +
If you do not see your church listed, please email us: archives@acadiau.ca
  
Archdiocese of Halifax<br>P.O. Box 1527<br>Halifax, NS B3J 2Y3<br>CANADA<br>Telephone: 902-429-9800<br>Fax: 902-423-5201 <br>Internet: http://www.catholichalifax.org/
+
=== Catholic  ===
 +
Contact the local parish to request information:<br>
 +
[http://www.catholichalifax.org/ '''Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth''']<br>P.O. Box 1527<br>Halifax, NS B3J 2Y3<br>CANADA<br>Telephone: 902-429-9800<br>Fax: 902-423-5201 <br>
 +
*[https://www.halifaxyarmouth.org/parishes/parish-directory '''Parish Directory''']
 +
<br>
 +
[https://www.antigonishdiocese.com/ '''Diocese of Antigonish''']<br>
 +
*[https://www.antigonishdiocese.com/parishes/ '''Parishes''']
 +
====United Church of Canada====
 +
[https://ucceast.ca/regions-14-15-archives/ '''Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council''']<br>
 +
21 Wright St.<br>
 +
Sackville New Brunswick E4L 4P8<br>
 +
Canada<br>
 +
Phone: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 6159<br>
 +
Email: swallace@united-church.ca<br>
 +
*[https://ucceast.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Alberton-Elmsdale-finding-aid.pdf '''Finding Aid''']
 +
::The Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council/Regional Council 15 Archives is mandated to collect, preserve, and provide access to the records of the Maritime, Gaspé, and Bermuda regions of the The United Church of Canada. We also have pre-1925 records of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational congregations in the Maritimes and Gaspé which joined The United Church of Canada in 1925.
  
=== Presbyterian ===
+
==Go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination to find more archives. ==
 +
There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives for each denomination.  Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources. This is especially important if local archives are not given above.
  
Presbyterian records are usually found in the individual churches. For more information, contact the church in the community in which you are researching.
+
{{Canada denominations}}
  
=== United Church of Canada ===
+
==Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.==
 +
Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:
 +
*[http://www.daddezio.com/society/hill.ca/index.html '''Society Hill List of Canada Societies''']<br>
  
Maritime Conference Archives<br>32 York Street<br>Sackville, NB E4L 4R4<br>CANADA<br>Telephone:&nbsp;506-536-0998<br>Fax: 506-536-2900<br>E-mail: Maritime Conference Archives (Contact Maritime Conference Archives)<br>Internet: [http://www.marconf.ca/archives.htm www.marconf.ca/archives.ht]m
 
  
'''Contact Person: Ms. Judith Colwell, Archivist'''
 
  
'''For registers of other denominations (such as Adventist, Congregationalist, Jewish, and Lutheran), determine the location of the church, and then arrange to see any records that may exist.'''
+
==Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor==
 +
You will possibly find many different people with the '''same name as your ancestor,''' especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the '''grandparents or aunts and uncles'''. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor '''as possible''':
 +
*'''name''', including '''middle name and maiden name'''
 +
*names of all '''spouses''', including middle and maiden name
 +
*exact or closely estimated '''dates of birth, marriage, and death'''
 +
*names and approximate birthdates of '''children'''
 +
*all known places of '''residence'''
 +
*'''occupations'''
 +
*'''military''' service details
 +
<br>
  
'''[[Category:Nova Scotia]]'''
+
[[File:Dark_thin_font_green_pin_Version_4.png|50px]]'''Carefully evaluate''' the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a '''"near match"'''. If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, [[Evaluate the Evidence|'''Evaluate the Evidence'''.]]
 +
 
 +
{{Nova Scotia|Nova Scotia}}
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Nova Scotia, Canada]]

Revision as of 14:24, 24 November 2020

Nova Scotia Wiki Topics
Nova Scotia Flag.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Nova Scotia Background
Nova Scotia Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In 1871, the largest religious denominations were Protestant with 103,500 (27%); Roman Catholic with 102,000 (26%); Baptist with 73,295 (19%); Anglican with 55,124 (14%); Methodist with 40,748 (10%), Lutheran with 4,958 (1.3%); and Congregationalist with 2,538 (0.65%).Wikipedia

Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]

To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

Look for online records.[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Caution sign.png

Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  1. Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
  2. Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Catholic[edit | edit source]

Dutch Reformed[edit | edit source]

Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Family History Library (FHL) has microfilmed and/or digitized records for churches in the Canada.
  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under Prince Edward Island, the county, or a town.
  • Because the churches gave copies of their records to the government for civil registration, search under both thhe "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics.
  • If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
  • Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
  • To find records:
a. Click on the records of Canada, Nova Scotia.
b. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
c. Or, click on Places within Canada, Nova Scotia at the top of the page, and a list of provinces will appear.
d. Click on your province.
e. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
f. Next, click on Places within Canada, Nova Scotia, [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
g. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
h. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
i. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.


Consult available finding aids.[edit | edit source]

These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.


Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]

Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.

  • Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
  • To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
  • Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
  • A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
  • If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
  • See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Addresses[edit | edit source]

Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.

Here you will find archive information unique to the province. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.


Provincial Archives[edit | edit source]

Nova Scotia Archives
6016 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 1W4

Tel: 902-424-6060
Fax: 902-424-0628
E-mail:archives@novascotia.ca


Anglican[edit | edit source]

Diocese of Nova Scotia
Attention: Archivist
5732 College Street
Halifax, NS B3H 1X3
CANADA
Telephone: 902-420-0717
Fax: 902-425-0717

Baptist[edit | edit source]

Atlantic Baptist Archives
Acadia University
Esther Clark Wright Archives
Vaughan Memorial Library Special Collections
Acadia University
P.O. Box 4
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
Canada
E-mail: archives@acadiau.ca
Reference Desk: (902) 585-1011

The Atlantic Baptist Archives at Acadia University preserves the records of nearly 800 Baptist Churches in Atlantic Canada. These archival finding aids are inventories of some, but not all, church records in the Archives. New finding aids will continue to be added as they are created.

If you do not see your church listed, please email us: archives@acadiau.ca

Catholic[edit | edit source]

Contact the local parish to request information:
Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth
P.O. Box 1527
Halifax, NS B3J 2Y3
CANADA
Telephone: 902-429-9800
Fax: 902-423-5201


Diocese of Antigonish

United Church of Canada[edit | edit source]

Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council
21 Wright St.
Sackville New Brunswick E4L 4P8
Canada
Phone: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 6159
Email: swallace@united-church.ca

The Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council/Regional Council 15 Archives is mandated to collect, preserve, and provide access to the records of the Maritime, Gaspé, and Bermuda regions of the The United Church of Canada. We also have pre-1925 records of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational congregations in the Maritimes and Gaspé which joined The United Church of Canada in 1925.

Go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination to find more archives.[edit | edit source]

There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources. This is especially important if local archives are not given above.

Wiki Articles for Records of Major Churches in Canada

Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:


Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]

You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:

  • name, including middle name and maiden name
  • names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
  • exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
  • names and approximate birthdates of children
  • all known places of residence
  • occupations
  • military service details


Dark thin font green pin Version 4.pngCarefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.