Prince Edward Island, first called Île Saint-Jean, has been inhabited by the Mi'kmaq for nearly 2,000 years. The French settled here in the 1720s.
In 1748, there was a population of 700 which rose very quickly to 5,000 when the Acadians were expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755.
Three years later, in 1758, the British expelled most of the Acadian population.
The land was given to former British soldiers in 1767, and the island became an independent colony in 1769.
Thereafter, the population grew rapidly, reaching 62,000 in 1850 as a result of a wave of immigration from the British Isles. The name "Prince Edward Island" was adopted in 1799. The island became a Canadian province in 1873.
Researchers interested in ancestors who lived in Prince Edward Island use the main types of genealogical sources.
Civil Registration (Birth, Death, and Marriage Records)
In Prince Edward Island, civil registration began in 1906, but there are some marriage records (civil) and some baptismal records (church) dating from 1886. These are in the custody of:
Prince Edward Island Vital Statistics
Department of Health and Wellness
PO Box 3000
Baptismal records prior to 1886, death records prior to 1906 and some marriage records from 1832 to 1923 have been transferred to the Public Archives and Records Office.
The Public Archives and Records Office has a large collection of land-related documents prior to 1900.
After that date, records are housed at the:
Registry of Deeds Office
PO Box 2000
Many libraries hold reference books, local histories, family histories and other books on genealogy. Library and Archives Canada allows you to browse lists of Canadian library Web sites and catalogues by province (Archived).
Probate Court records, 1807-1920, containing wills are in the custody of the Public Archives and Records Office.
Records later than 1920 are held at:
Sir Louis Henry Davies Law Courts
42 Water Street
PO Box 2290