Prince Edward Island became a Canadian province on July 1, 1873.
- The first peoples were Mi'kmaq.
- In the 1720s, the French began settling what was then called Île Saint-Jean.
- In 1763, it was renamed the Island of Saint John and became part of the British colony of Nova Scotia until 1769.
- In 1799, the name was changed to Prince Edward Island.
Civil registration (birth, marriage and death records)
Civil registration is a provincial jurisdiction. In Prince Edward Island, civil registration began in 1906, but some earlier records exist. Many of the records in the custody of the P.E.I. Public Archives and Records Office are indexed online:
Some of the records are indexed and digitized on FamilySearch.
Records that are still restricted must be ordered from Vital Statistics.
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Prince Edward Island is divided into three counties: Kings, Queens and Prince.
The Public Archives and Records Office holds land petitions, 1780-1915. They are indexed and digitized in the PARO Collections Database.
They also hold other pre-1900 records relating to land. See Genealogy at the Public Archives: Land records and maps.
Post-1900 land records are held at the Registrar of Deeds.
See also Charlottetown: Search a Property Database
The administration of wills and estates is a provincial jurisdiction. In P.E.I., wills and probate records, 1807-1930, are in the custody of the Public Archives and Records Office. See Genealogy at the Public Archives: Court records.
Some of the records are indexed in the Prince Edward Island Wills Database.
Records later than 1930 are held at the Estates Court.
Library and Archives Canada information pages and databases
The Master Name Index was created by the Prince Edward Island Genealogical Society and the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation. It includes references from many sources, including cemeteries, newspapers, census, land and church records. Library and Archives Canada has a microfilm copy of the index, which can be consulted in our genealogy room on the third floor at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. There is also an online version at Master Name Index.
To find out about other types of records for genealogy research, visit our Genealogy and Family History pages, including Topics.
Public Archives and Records Office
The provincial archives holds many sources for genealogy research. Consult the following links: