Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905
This article describes a collection of records at
Nova Scotia, Canada
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Location of Nova Scotia, Canada
Record Description
Record Type Church
Collection years 1823-1905
Languages English, Latin, French Word List|French
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Antigonish Catholic Diocese

What is in This Collection?

This collection contains church records for the years 1823-1905; dates vary for each parish. In this set of parish registers, the births or baptisms, marriages, and deaths or burials are usually entered in separate volumes. A few volumes have intermixed entries; some are indexed. Early registers are written in paragraph format, while later registers are pre-printed with the information filled in by hand in each column. On August 23, 1886, the see was moved from Arichat to the town of Antigonish and the diocese became the Diocese of Antigonish. The diocese covers seven counties in northeastern Nova Scotia: Richmond, Inverness, Victoria, Cape Breton, Antigonish, Pictou and Guysborough. Catholic records are traditionally kept on the parish level so the registers are usually found at the church where the event occurred. Based on statistics from the 1901 Canadian census, around 28% of the population of Nova Scotia was Catholic and 58% of the Catholics in Nova Scotia lived in the Diocese of Antigonish. About 68% of the pre-1906 parishes in the diocese are included in this record set.

Reading These Records

Some of these records are in Latin or French. For help with reading the records, see the following resources:

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Date and place of baptism
  • Child's name and date of birth
  • Names of parents
  • Names of godparents


  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the groom and bride
  • Names of witnesses


  • Date and place of death and burial
  • Name and age of deceased
  • Birth place of deceased
  • Cause of death
  • Officiating priest
  • Name of cemetery

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a relative or date of the event

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select County
  2. Select Town
  3. Select Parish
  4. Select Event Type to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Cite the record. See below for help citing this collection
  • Look at an image of the original record. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index. To find a copy of the original record, visit the Antigonish Catholic Diocese page
  • Use the information you have found to find the person in census records
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Consult the Nova Scotia Record Finder to find other records
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This can help you find possible relatives
  • Search the records of nearby areas
  • Check for other names. An individual might appear under an unexpected name for a variety of reasons:
    • They might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name
    • A woman may have returned to her maiden name after the death of her husband

Record Finder

Consult the Nova Scotia Record Finder Table to find other records

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese, 1823-1905." Database with images. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. Catholic Church parishes, Antigonish Diocese, Nova Scotia.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.