Are you researching ancestors who lived in Prince Edward Island? On this page, you will find information about records held at Library and Archives Canada and the provincial archives. There are also links to online resources and to other institutions, societies and government agencies.
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
Records that are still restricted must be ordered from
Adoption and divorce
A Prince Edward Island court of divorce was established in 1836, but it appears to have been infrequently used. The few surviving records are available through the Public Archives and Records Office of Prince Edward Island (PAROPEI). Jurisdiction over divorce was transferred to the province’s Supreme Court in the 1940s.
Permission from the Supreme Court is required to access the 1946-1968 divorce records held by PAROPEI. More recent records are held at the Sir Louis Henry Davies Law Courts in Charlottetown.
Courts and criminal records
Prince Edward Island is divided into three counties: Kings, Queens and Prince.
Wills and estate records
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
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
Public Archives and Records Office
The provincial archives holds many sources for genealogy research. Consult the following links: