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

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Access the records: Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905 .

Record Description

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.

The text is usually in English, although a few records are in Latin or French. This set also includes transcriptions of original registers for some parishes. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish was originally known as the Diocese of Arichat and was established on September 22, 1844. Previously, the diocese was part of the Diocese of Quebec.

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.

These parish registers cover 1823-1905, dates vary for each parish. Parish registers are considered a very reliable source for family history research because they contain a record of an event usually entered into the register at or very near the time the event occurred.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Diocese of Antigonish. Antigonish Catholic Diocese records. Diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:

  • Name of person who was baptized, married, or who died
  • Names of parents (sometimes includes the maiden name of the mother) in birth or baptismal records
  • Names of parents or name of spouse in death records
  • Date of birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial
  • Place of birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial

How to Use the Records

Because civil registration of births and deaths was sporadic in Nova Scotia until 1908, church records are a very important source for birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial information. Use parish registers to identify individuals, parents, spouses, event dates, places of residence, and possible relatives who may have served as witnesses. Parish registers were created to keep a written record of baptisms, marriages, and burials for the Catholic Church.

Beginning Your Search

To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Name of Ancestor
  • Religious Denomination
  • Approximate year of birth, marriage and death

Searching the Index

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

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Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch ( accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata  > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 >  image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata, Buenos Aires.