Cape Breton County, Nova Scotia Genealogy
|Nova Scotia Research Topics|
|Nova Scotia Background|
|Local Research Resources|
Guide to Cape Breton county ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
- 1 History
- 2 Maps and Gazetteers
- 3 Civil Registrations
- 4 Census
- 5 Cemeteries
- 6 Church Records
- 7 City, Provincial, and Business Directories
- 8 Court Records
- 9 Land Records
- 10 Military Records
- 11 Newspapers and Obituaries
- 12 Taxation Records
- 13 Repositories
- 14 Websites
- 15 References
In 1765 Cape Breton Island was set as Cape Breton County. From 1784 to 1820, Cape Breton Island was established as a separate colony of England. Cape Breton Island was re-annexed to Nova Scotia in 1820. In 1835 when the county was divided into three distinct counties; namely Cape Breton (Northeastern District), Richmond (Southern District which later became Richmond County) and Juste au Corps (Northwest District later called Inverness County). In 1852, the present boundaries of Cape Breton County were defined by the colonial government in Halifax.
Maps and Gazetteers
Populated Places Table
|FORMER NAME, if applicable||TYPE||
|East Lake Ainslie||Link||Link|
|Grand Mira North||Link||Link|
|Grand Mira South||Link||Link|
|New Aberdeen (near Glace Bay)||Link||Link|
According to Nova Scotia Archives Records Management:
"Civil registration of vital statistics began in Nova Scotia in 1763 with the introduction of procedures for obtaining a marriage licence; the procedure was optional and the surviving records are incomplete. Formalized registration of births, deaths and marriages began in 1864 and continued to 1877, at which time record-keeping lapsed for births and deaths, but continued for marriages. Compliance was not universal during this period and there are gaps in the surviving records. Since 1 October 1908, birth, death and marriage registrations have been collected and maintained continuously."
- 1661-1959 - Canada Births and Baptisms, index.
- 1702-1896 - Nova Scotia Births and Baptisms, index.
- 1830-1909 - Births 1864-1877, 1908-1909; Delayed Birth Registrations 1830-1909, index and images.
- 1836-1907 - Registered births 1864-1877 and delayed births 1836-1907, index.
- 1836-1910 - Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, index and images. ($)
- 1837-1904 - Nova Scotia Delayed Births, images.
- 1864-1877 - Nova Scotia Births, images.
- 1711-1909 - Nova Scotia Marriages, index.
- 1759-1960 - Court records of Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, 1759-1960; Marriage Bonds 1763-1864; Marriage Registrations 1864-1934, index and images.
- 1763-1932 - marriages, index.
- 1763-1935 - Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, index and images. ($)
- 1864-1918 - Nova Scotia Marriages, images.
- 1907-1932 - Nova Scotia Marriages, images.
- 1864-1957 - Deaths 1864-1877, 1908-1957, index.
- 1864-1959 - Deaths 1864-1877, 1908-1959, images and index.
- 1864-1960 - Nova Scotia, Canada, Deaths, 1864-1877, 1890-1960 index. ($)
- 1890-1955 - Nova Scotia Deaths index.
- 1956-1957 - Nova Scotia Deaths index.
In Canada, census returns are closed for 92 years after the time of enumeration. Census returns prior to 1851 are rarely complete for any area, and the census returns for Annapolis County in 1851 did not survive.
- 1861 - For each county, the agricultural returns follow immediately after the personal returns for the whole county.
- 1871 - The personal returns for each enumeration sub-district appear in schedule one. The agricultural returns are schedules three to five and are keyed to schedule one by page and line number rather than by name.
Online Searchable Databases, Books and Images
|Year||Name of Collection||Where Available|
Acadian genealogy exchange - v. 5, no. 4 Oct 1976;
|1708||East Coast of Arcadia 1708|| At various libraries (WorldCat)|
|1714||Acadian families in 1714|| At various libraries (WorldCat)|
|1752||1752 census of Isle Royale (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia)|| At various libraries (WorldCat)|
|1770||Nova Scotia 1770 census|| Nova Scotia Archives|
|1800-1842||Ontario and Nova Scotia Census, 1800-1842||Ancestry ($)|
|1811-1818||Nova Scotia Census Returns, 1811, 1817 and 1818||Nova Scotia Archives|
|1827||Nova Scotia Census Returns 1827|| Nova Scotia Archives|
|1838||Nova Scotia Census Returns 1838||Nova Scotia Archives|
|1851||Canada Census, 1851|| Archives of Canada|
|1861||Census of Canada, 1861|| Archives of Canada|
|1871||Census of Canada, 1871|| Archives of Canada|
|1871-1901||Jewish residents of the Maritime provinces in the 1871-1901 censuses of Canada|| FamilySearch|
|1881||Census of Canada, 1881|| Archives of Canada|
|1891||Census of Canada, 1891|| Archives of Canada|
|1901||Census of Canada, 1901|| Archives of Canada|
|1911||Census of Canada, 1911|| Archives of Canada|
|1921||Census of Canada, 1921||Ancestry ($)|
- 1720-2001 - Nova Scotia Church Records, images.
- 1757-1946 - Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), images. ($)
- 1823-1905 - Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese, images.
- Nova Scotia, Canada, Antigonish Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1823-1905, index and images, ($).
*1856-1970 - U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Vital Records, images ($)
- Nova Scotia Archives, Church Records, index and images.
- Nova Scotia Archives, Regional Church Archives contact information
See also, Nova Scotia Church Records
City, Provincial, and Business Directories
- 1758-1952 Ancestry $ Publications of the governments of Nova Scotia
- 1868-1869 Collections Canada PDF file of McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory
- 1880-1881 FamilySearch McAlpine's maritime provinces business directory
- 1890-1897 Collections Canada PDF file of McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory
- 1907-1908 Nova Scotia Archives McAlpine's Nova Scotia Directory
- 1885-1900 - Nova Scotia Archives Court of Appeal Casebooks
Wills and Probate
- 1760-1993 - Nova Scotia Probate Records and Estate Files, images.
- 1879-1970 - Wills, images.
- 1732-1864 - Nova Scotia land grants, microfilm.
- 1763-1970 - Land records, microfilm.
- 1854-1953 - Land grants, microfilm.
- 1965-1970 - Card file index to deeds, grantor and grantee, microfilm, Index.
- Land Grants, Images.
- Crown Land Information Management Centre maps, images.
- 1760-1993 - Nova Scotia Probate Records, images.
- 1765-1800 - Nova Scotia Land Papers images.
- 1787-1843 - Cape Breton Island Petitions, images.
- Gilroy, Marion. Loyalists and Land Settlement in Nova Scotia. Halifax: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1937.
- Smith, Clifford Neal. Whereabouts of Some American Refugees, 1784–1800: the Nova Scotian Land Grants. 7 vols. McNeal, Arizona: Vestland Publications, 1992.
- Land Registration Office - Annapolis County
396 Main Street
Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia
- The American Civil War : the service records of Atlantic Canadians with the State of Maine volunteers
- The civil sword : James Delancey's Westchester Refugees
- 1749-1867 - Index to commissions in the Public, index.
- Veteran Affairs Canada has a Virtual War Memorial with listings of graves and memorials, some with photographs and personal memorabilia. It also has excerpts from wartime letters and diaries.
- Library and Archives of Canada Records and databases of information over an extensive period of time.
- 1910-1967 - The Royal Canadian Navy Virtual archive of non-governmental materials (postcards, letters, photographs, etc.)
Newspapers and Obituaries
- List of Nova Scotia newspapers available on microfilm at Library and Archives Canada:
Library and Archives Canada
- Nova Scotia vital statistics from newspapers FamilySearch
- 1752-1988 - Hicks, Brenda, Lynn Murphy, and Anjali Vohra. Nova Scotia Newspapers: A Directory and Union List, 1752-1988. Halifax, Nova Scotia: School of Library and Information Studies, Dalhousie University, 1990.
- 1757-1957 - Tratt, Gertrude E. N. A Survey and Listing of Nova Scotia Newspapers, 1752-1957, with Particular Reference to the Period Before 1867. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Dalhousie University, 1979.
- 1791-1793 - Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management Poll tax rolls
Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management, formerly the Public Archives of Nova Scotia (PANS):
6016 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The library holdings are only available for use on-site, but there are numerous databases and materials available through the Virtual Archives, including the searchable database of Historical Vital Statistics. If you're planning a visit to the library, you can search a portion of the catalogue online in advance (as of July 2010, 20,000 entries); the remaining 50,000 titles are listed in the Archives Reading Room Card Catalogue, available onsite. Search for 'Annapolis' in Acadia University's Planter Database for a more convenient way to view NSARM's record holdings.
- Nova Scotia Genealogy Records Online
- Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia
- Canadian Genealogy and History Links
- Acadia University's Planter Studies Centre, focused on the New England residents who settled in Nova Scotia in the late 1700s.
- Genealogy Source: Where to Find Genealogical Information in Nova Scotia. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Council of Nova Scotia Archives, 2002.
- Elliot, Noel Montgomery, ed. The Atlantic Canadians, 1600–1900: An Alphabetized Directory of the People, Places, and Vital Dates. 3 vols. Toronto: Genealogical Research Library, 1994.
- Marble, Allan E. A Catalogue of Published Genealogies of Nova Scotia Families. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Genealogical Association of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, 1984.
- Morris, Julie. Tracing Your Ancestors in Nova Scotia. Halifax: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1987.
- Morse, William I. Gravestones of Acadie: And Other Essays on Local History, Genealogy and Parish Records of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia. London: A. Smith & Co., 1929.
- Peterson, Jean, Lynn Murphy, and Heather MacDonald. The Loyalist Guide: Nova Scotian Loyalists and Their Documents. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1983.
- Punch, Terrence M. Erin's Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada to 1863. 4 vols. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2008-2010.
- Punch, Terrence M. Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Petheric Press, 1978.
- Punch, Terrence M. Genealogist's Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1989.
- Punch, Terrence M. In Which County?: Nova Scotia Surnames from Birth Registers, 1864 to 1877. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Genealogical Association of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, 1985.
- Smith, Leonard H, and Norma H. Smith. Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867. 2 vols. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Also digitized and searchable on Ancestry.com
- County Guide Series, No. 5. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1990.