Nova Scotia
Table for looking up the composition of Canada, 1867-1999. © 2018. Past Presence. All rights reserved.

This is a page of resources for the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Last updated 28 Jul 2020.

Nova Scotia joined Confederation on July 1, 1867, one of the original four provinces.

1851 Nova Scotia Census, Library and Archives Canada

The second census of the Province of Canada.

Although the 1851 Census is only for Nova Scotia, Library and Archives Canada has a single searchable database for Canada East (Quebec), Canada West (Ontario), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

1861 Nova Scotia Census, Library and Archives Canada

The third census of the Province of Canada.

Like the 1851 Census above, Library and Archives Canada has a single searchable database for Canada East (Quebec), Canada West (Ontario), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The census for Nova Scotia was begun on March 30, 1861.

Ancestor Search – Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

If you haven’t been on LAC lately, it’s worth another look. In 2019, LAC rolled out my three favourite words in the English language: centralized database search. Bearing in mind that the usual spelling issues still apply, you can now search all the collections at once.

Automated Genealogy – Marriages in NS

Ever thought: I wish there was someone to help me read this totally illegible record? There is. In this incredible source, volunteers transcribe census records for the Canada censuses 1851, 1901, 1911, 1921, and the Prairie census 1906. Specific to BC, there is a growing list of NS marriages ~1870-1920. Last I checked, there are 1,943 marriages listed here.

Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University

Searchable database of historical archives relating to the history of Cape Breton Island.

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

This is the website for the Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, located in Halifax, NS. Its first focus may have been immigration to Canada via Halifax, but it is now a rich resource for research into Canadian immigration. I found results for immigration to Quebec, New Westminster, and Victoria.

Directories (Canada) – The Ancestor Hunt

Thanks to the work of Kenneth R. Marks and Miriam Robbins, we have a site for Canadian directories. This site is always being updated. As of July 2020 there are directories for Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. Plans are underway for Alberta, BC, Newfoundland & Labrador, PEI, Quebec, and the Territories.

Global Genealogy, Nova Scotia

A rich site of links, organized by category, with brief descriptions on all the links.

Historical Vital Statistics, Nova Scotia

Older records of vital statistics may be found here, for purchase:

  • births 1864-1877, 1908-1915;
  • marriage bonds 1763-1864;
  • marriage registrations 1864-1940;
  • deaths 1864-1877, 1908-1965, and
  • deaths for the City of Halifax 1890-1908

For newer records, see Vital Statistics, Service Nova Scotia, below.

Vital Statistics, Service Nova Scotia

Records may be requested from Service Nova Scotia for the following:

  • Births 1917 – present
  • Marriage 1942-present
  • Deaths 1967-present

See the fee schedule here.

Nova Scotia Genealogical Society

A basic site with a lot of links to all things Nova Scotia genealogy.