Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia joined Confederation on July 1, 1867.

The first inhabitants of Nova Scotia were Mi'kmaq, whose dwellings extended from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to the southern coast of the Gaspé Peninsula.

The French established the first European settlement in 1604, calling it Acadia. By 1750, they had a community of 12,000 inhabitants.

The only English-speaking inhabitants before 1749 were in Annapolis and Canso, but in that year, Halifax was founded with the arrival of 2,500 settlers. In 1753, Lunenburg was established by German immigrants.

Nova Scotia grew rapidly in the second half of the eighteenth century with the arrival of many immigrants from New England. The advent of the Loyalists after 1782 resulted in the division of the territory into two separate colonies, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Civil Registration (Birth, Death, and Marriage Records)

In Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management holds birth records (1864 to 1877 and 1908 to 1916), marriage records (1864 to 1941) and death records (1864 to 1877 and 1908 to 1966). Nominal indexes and digital images to the above records are available on the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Web site.

Records after those dates are held by Access Nova Scotia: Vital Statistics.

Criminal Records

Genealogical Societies

Land Records

Land grants are in the custody of the Crown Land Information Management Centre.

See also Historical Land Information at the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.

The Nova Scotia Archives holds microfilm copies of land grants and petitions, all of which are indexed. See land records for information and links to databases.

Records of subsequent transactions are held by the Land Registration Office in each county.

Provincial Websites

Many libraries hold reference books, local histories, family histories and other books on genealogy. Visit the website of your local library and the library in the area where your ancestors lived.

See also:


Nova Scotia Archives: Probate records

The Courts of Nova Scotia: The Probate Court

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