Nova Scotia was one of the original provinces that founded the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867.
- The first peoples were Mi'kmaq.
- In the 1600s, the area was called Acadia by the French and Nova Scotia (New Scotland) by the British.
- Halifax was founded in 1749 as a British settlement and naval base.
- In 1753, Lunenburg was established by German immigrants.
- The expulsion of the Acadians began in 1755.
- By 1763, the entire colony was under British control. Many Loyalists arrived after the American Revolution.
- Until 1784, New Brunswick was part of Nova Scotia.
Civil registration (birth, marriage and death records)
Civil registration is a provincial jurisdiction. In Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management holds the following records:
- births (1864 to 1877 and 1908 to 1916)
- marriages (1864 to 1941)
- deaths (1864 to 1877 and 1908 to 1966)
Nominal indexes and digital images to those records are available online:
Records after those dates are held by Access Nova Scotia: Vital Statistics.
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The province is divided into counties.
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.
The administration of wills and estates is a provincial jurisdiction. Most records are held at the provincial archives.
Library and Archives Canada information pages and databases
To find out about other types of records for genealogy research, visit our Genealogy and Family History pages, including Topics.
Nova Scotia Archives
The provincial archives holds many sources for genealogy research. Consult the following links: