Nova Scotia Vital Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Nova Scotia Vital Records, 1763-1957 .

Canada Gotoarrow.png Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, Canada
Canada flag.png
Nova Scotia.png
Nova Scotia Map.jpg
Country Canada
Province Nova Scotia
Record Description
Record Type Birth, Marriage, Death
Collection Years 1763-1957
Languages English
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What's In This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection is an index for the years 1763-1957 that was created by the Nova Scotia Archives. These records include registered births from 1864-1877 with some birth entries as early as 1810, delayed births 1836-1907, marriages 1763-1932, and deaths 1864-1877, 1908-1957. Images for these records are on the Nova Scotia Genealogy website.

In 1864, an attempt was made to register vital statistics in Nova Scotia. These records are fairly complete from 1867 to 1874. In 1877, birth and death registration was discontinued, but it began again in 1908.

Nova Scotia was settled by the French in 1605. The French did not keep vital records. Instead, they recorded similar information in Catholic Church records. Very few church records of baptism, marriage, and burial for the French settlers exist before 1702. Church of England records for British settlers began in Halifax in 1749.

Sample of Record Content[edit | edit source]

The various records in this collection may contain the following information:

Birth records

  • Name of child
  • Date of birth and place of child
  • Gender
  • Names of parents
  • Birthplace of parents
  • Registration date and number
  • Names of witnesses

Marriage records

  • Name of groom
  • Name and maiden name of bride
  • Grooms father’s occupation
  • Bride’s father’s occupation
  • Names of parents for both bride and groom
  • Place of birth for parents
  • Place and date of marriage
  • Names of witnesses
  • Age at marriage

Death records

  • Name of deceased
  • Date and place of burial
  • Date and place of death
  • Occupation
  • Gender
  • Cause of death
  • Date and place of birth
  • Age at death
  • Marital status
  • Name of spouse
  • Name of parents

How Do I Search the Collection?[edit | edit source]

As you are searching, it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times. For tips about searching online collections, read FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

To search this collection by name: Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at several records to make this determination.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

  • When you have found the information that you have been looking for, search in the Church Records. Church records were detailed and kept many years before government records. Search for all people with the same last name as your ancestor and record these in a separate place to review possible relationships to your family. The church records may contain all births, marriages and deaths for an entire family.
  • Search in the Birth, Baptism and Marriage collections to find the names of the parents, the date of baptism, and the year and place of marriage.
  • Use the age in the marriage records or death records to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Find more detail about death or burial information by searching for cemeteries, grave markers],sexton's records, or a civil or religious death record. Look for an obituary in a local newspaper archive. Sometimes a person is buried in a city or town in which they did not die. Do not assume that a burial place is the same as a death place. Look for death records in the place of death. The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?[edit | edit source]

  • Try looking in the census records for the possible place of residence at the time of the event.
  • Search for nicknames of the ancestor (Tom, Ben, Mike etc.) this might give you a clue if you can't find their full name on the record.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they were born, married or died, then try searching records of a nearby locality.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.

  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.

Citations for This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  

Collection Citation:

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Nova Scotia Vital Records, 1763-1957.

How You Can Contribute[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.