Nova Scotia Church Records
|Nova Scotia Wiki Topics|
|Nova Scotia Background|
|Nova Scotia Cultural Groups|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 Historical Background
- 2 Information Found in the Records
- 3 Finding the Records
- 3.1 Look for online records.
- 3.2 Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.
- 3.3 Consult available finding aids.
- 3.4 Correspond with or visit the actual churches.
- 3.5 Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.
- 3.6 Catholic
- 4 Go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination to find more archives.
- 5 Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.
- 6 Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor
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]
Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:
Indexes[edit | edit source]
- 1702-1896 - Nova Scotia, Births and Baptisms, 1702-1896, index.
- 1711-1909 - Nova Scotia Marriages, 1711-1909, index.
- 1720-2001 - Nova Scotia, Church Records, 1720-2001 Index and images.
Catholic[edit | edit source]
- 1695-1954 - Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954 ($) (Ancestry).
- 1823-1905 - Nova Scotia, Canada, Antigonish Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1823-1905, index and images, ($).
- 1823-1905 - Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese, 1823-1905 Index and images.
- 1757-1946 - Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1757-1946], index and images, ($)
Dutch Reformed[edit | edit source]
- 1856-1970 - U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Vital Records, 1856-1970, index and images, incomplete.($)
- 1856-1970 - U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Membership Records, 1856-1970, index and images, incomplete.($)
Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]
- 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. . 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]
- Canadian Church Directory
- Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.
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
Anglican[edit | edit source]
Diocese of Nova Scotia
5732 College Street
Halifax, NS B3H 1X3
Baptist[edit | edit source]
Atlantic Baptist Archives
Esther Clark Wright Archives
Vaughan Memorial Library Special Collections
P.O. Box 4
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholic[edit | edit source]
Contact the local parish to request information:
Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth
P.O. Box 1527
Halifax, NS B3J 2Y3
United Church of Canada[edit | edit source]
Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council
21 Wright St.
Sackville New Brunswick E4L 4P8
Phone: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 6159
- 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
- military service details
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.