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''[[Canada|Canada]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Nova Scotia|Nova Scotia]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Nova_Scotia_Vital_Records|Vital Records]]''
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For research strategies and additional information, see [[Canada Vital Records|Canada Vital Records]]  
 
For research strategies and additional information, see [[Canada Vital Records|Canada Vital Records]]  
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== Background  ==
 
== Background  ==
  
 +
'''Historical Background:'''<br>
  
 +
Nova Scotia was settled by the French in 1605. The French did not keep vital records. Instead, they recorded similar information in Catholic Church records. Very few church records of baptism, marriage, and burial for the French settlers exist before 1702. Church of England records for British settlers began in Halifax in 1749.
  
'''Historical Background:'''<br>
+
'''1864 Vital Records Registration:'''<br>  
  
Nova Scotia was settled by the French in 1605. The French did not keep vital records. Instead, they recorded similar information in Catholic Church records. Very few church records of baptism, marriage, and burial for the French settlers exist before 1702. Church of England records for British settlers began in Halifax in 1749.  
+
In 1864 an attempt was made to register vital statistics in Nova Scotia. From 1867 to 1874 these records are fairly complete. In 1877 birth and death registration was discontinued and in 1908 it began again.<br>
  
'''1864 Vital Records Registration:'''<br>
+
'''Township Books:'''<br>  
  
In 1864 an attempt was made to register vital statistics in Nova Scotia. From 1867 to 1874 these records are fairly complete. In 1877 birth and death registration was discontinued and in 1908 it began again.<br>
+
Births, marriages, and deaths are recorded in township books beginning in about 1760, when settlers from New England came to Nova Scotia. The township books began in 1760 and were discontinued beginning about 1860.Townships were never established on Cape Breton Island, and the township books covered only part of the rest of the province.&nbsp; Marriages recorded in the books may be as early as 1702 and as late as 1920.  
  
'''Township Books:'''<br>
+
'''Marriage Bonds and Licenses:'''  
  
Births, marriages, and deaths began to be recorded in township books about 1760, when settlers from New England came to Nova Scotia. The township books began in 1760 and were discontinued beginning about 1860.Townships were never established on Cape Breton Island, and the township books covered only part of the rest of the province.&nbsp; Marriages recorded in the books may be as early as 1702 and as late as 1920.  
+
Marriage bonds began in parts of Nova Scotia from 1763–1864, with a few for later years to 1871. Marriage licenses began in most Nova Scotia counties in 1849. Gradually other records were added. Just because a bond or license exists does not mean the marriage took place. You should look for proof of marriage in church records and other records if possible.  
  
'''Marriage Bonds and Licenses:'''
+
== Birth and Death  ==
  
Marriage bonds began in parts of Nova Scotia from 1763–1864, with a few for later years to 1871. Marriage licenses began in most Nova Scotia counties in 1849. Gradually other records were added. Just because a bond or license exists does not mean the marriage took place. You should look for proof of marriage in church records and other records if possible.
+
Civil birth registrations were recorded in Nova Scotia between 1864 and 1876 and are held by the Nova Scotia Archives. Delayed registrations for births were filed from 1876 to 1908.  However, not everyone registered. Province-wide recording of civil births began again on January 1, 1909. Birth records are retained by the Vital Statistics office for a period of 100 years.
  
== '''Birth and Death''' ==
+
Civil death registrations were recorded in Nova Scotia between 1864 and 1876. Civil death registration began again on October 1, 1908. The Nova Scotia Archives has death records of persons who died before 1965. The office of Vital Statistics has all death records for a period of 50 years.
  
 
'''Indexes 1864-1877'''  
 
'''Indexes 1864-1877'''  
  
Birth and death records from 1864 to 1877 are indexed first by the family name, and then by county.  
+
Birth and death records from 1864 to 1877 are indexed first by the family name, and then by county. [https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/ Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management] has put many vital records online. <br>  
 
 
[https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/ Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management] has put many vital records online. <br>  
 
  
<br>
 
  
 
The Family History Library has the following birth and death records:  
 
The Family History Library has the following birth and death records:  
  
::Nova Scotia. ''Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Births, 1864–1877''. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1983. (On 37 Family History Library&nbsp;{{FHL|414448|title-id|disp=films beginning with film 1318341}}) The records are organized by county, then town, then year.  
+
::*'''1837 - 1904''' {{RecordSearch|2241429|Nova Scotia Delayed Births, 1837-1904}} at [https://www.familysearch.org/search FamilySearch] — index and images
::Nova Scotia. ''Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Death Records 1864–1877''. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1980. (On 38 Family History Library&nbsp;{{FHL|241917|title-id|disp=films beginning with 1293436}}) The records organized are by county, then by year.
+
::*'''1864 - 1877''' Nova Scotia. ''Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Births, 1864–1877''. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1983. (On 37 Family History Library&nbsp;{{FHL|414448|title-id|disp=films beginning with film 1318341}}) The records are organized by county, then town, then year.  
 
+
::*'''1864 - 1877''' - {{RecordSearch|2243378|Nova Scotia Births, 1864-1877}} at [https://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch] — index and images
<br>
+
::*'''1864 - 1877''' Nova Scotia. ''Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Death Records 1864–1877''. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1980. (On 38 Family History Library&nbsp;{{FHL|241917|title-id|disp=films beginning with 1293436}}) The records organized are by county, then by year.
 +
::*'''1864 - 1877''' - {{RecordSearch|2242825|Nova Scotia Deaths, 1864-1877}} at [https://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch] — index and images
  
 
== Marriage  ==
 
== Marriage  ==
  
Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management has put many vital records online. To see these go to:
+
Search [https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/ Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management ]for online vital records. To find complete information about your ancestor, you should search for his name in all records that existed when he married. For example, if he got married in 1870, there may be marriage records for him in the following records. Each record may include different information:  
 
 
*https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/
 
 
 
To find complete information about your ancestor, you should search for his name in all records that existed when he got married. For example, if he got married in 1870, there may be marriage records for him in all of the following groups. Each record may include different information:  
 
  
 
{| width="688" border="1" class="vertical listing"
 
{| width="688" border="1" class="vertical listing"
Line 63: Line 65:
 
|}
 
|}
  
If your ancestor lived in a part of the province that had a township book, you should also look at that to find marriage records. They were made for certain townships in the western part of Nova Scotia between 1760 and 1860 or later and some include records of marriages as early as 1702 and as late as 1920.
+
<br>
  
Nova Scotia township books are very similar to the town records in New England states such as Connecticut. They include a variety of records, not just vital records of births, marriages and deaths. Most existing township books are at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia.
+
<br>
  
To find where townships were located, see:
+
'''Township Books'''
  
:''Index to the 1871 Dominion Directory of Canada'', Volume 3: Nova Scotia, for a sketch map of townships and counties in Nova Scotia. It also has lists of townships included in each county. Lovell's ''Canadian Dominion Directory'' for 1871, vol. 8, pp. 1529-1792, for a list of Nova Scotia towns showing the townships and counties they were located in.
+
If your ancestor lived in a part of the province that had a township book, you should search that to find marriage records. They were made for certain townships in the western part of Nova Scotia between 1760 and 1860 or later, and some include records of marriages as early as 1702 and as late as 1920.  
  
While there are many Nova Scotia marriage records, the two basic kinds of government marriage records are:  
+
Nova Scotia township books are very similar to the town records in the New England states. They include a variety of records, not just vital records of births, marriages and deaths. Most existing township books are at the [http://gov.ns.ca/nsarm/cap/ Public Archives of Nova Scotia]. For a list of township books on file at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and the dates they cover, see:<br>
 +
 
 +
::''Tracing Your Ancestors in Nova Scotia,'' Public Archives of Nova Scotia. Halifax, 1981.
 +
 
 +
To find the township locations, see:
 +
 
 +
::''Index to the 1871 Dominion Directory of Canada'', Volume 3: Nova Scotia, for a sketch map of townships and counties in Nova Scotia. It also lists townships included in each county. Lovell's ''Canadian Dominion Directory'' for 1871, vol. 8, pp. 1529-1792, lists Nova Scotia towns with their townships and counties.
 +
 
 +
While there are many Nova Scotia marriage records, the two basic types of government marriage records are:  
  
 
*Marriage intentions: records that show a couple intended to marry.  
 
*Marriage intentions: records that show a couple intended to marry.  
 
*Marriage returns: records that show a couple actually married.
 
*Marriage returns: records that show a couple actually married.
  
The terms intentions and returns are not always the terms used in the records. These terms are ways to describe the records. Marriage intentions and marriage returns for your ancestor may be found in several groups of Nova Scotia government vital records. See '''Tip 2'''.
+
The terms intentions and returns are not always the terms used in the records. These terms describe the records. Marriage intentions and marriage returns for your ancestor may be found in several groups of Nova Scotia government vital records.&nbsp;
  
 
=== Marriage Intentions  ===
 
=== Marriage Intentions  ===
  
Marriage intentions may include bonds and licenses to marry, which show the government allows the marriage to take place.  
+
Marriage intentions may include bonds and licenses to marry, which show the government allows the marriage to take place.&nbsp;Marriage intentions may include some or all of the following information:  
 
 
Marriage intentions may include some or all of the following information:  
 
  
 
{| width="688" border="1" class="vertical listing"
 
{| width="688" border="1" class="vertical listing"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| <div style="text-align: center">'''MARRIAGE INTENTIONS 1763–1918'''</div>  
 
| <div style="text-align: center">'''MARRIAGE INTENTIONS 1763–1918'''</div>  
| _
+
|  
 
|}
 
|}
  
Line 96: Line 104:
 
|-
 
|-
 
|  
 
|  
Name of man and woman who intended to marry Ages of the man and woman who intended to marry Residences of the couple Date and place of bond or license Name, residence, and religion of clergyman to perform ceremony  
+
Name of man and woman who intended to marry. Ages of the man and woman who intended to marry Residences of the couple. Date and place of bond or license. Name, residence, and religion of clergyman to perform ceremony.
  
 
|  
 
|  
Occupation of man who intended to marry Places of birth of the couple Name, residence, and occupation of a bondsman (who may be a relative) Name of the woman's father, if she was underage and his permission to marry was required  
+
Occupation of man who intended to marry. Places of birth of the couple. Name, residence, and occupation of a bondsman (who may be a relative). Name of the woman's father, if she was underage. Father's permission to marry was required for underage brides.
  
 
|}
 
|}
Line 110: Line 118:
 
|}
 
|}
  
Proofthat a marriage actually took place may be:  
+
Proof that a marriage actually took place may be:  
  
 
*A note on the bond or license.  
 
*A note on the bond or license.  
Line 119: Line 127:
 
*A note in a family Bible.
 
*A note in a family Bible.
  
Only some of these kinds of proofs are government vital records. Church records, newspaper notices, and notes from family Bibles are not usually included in government vital records.  
+
Only some of these types of proof are government vital records. Church records, newspaper notices, and notes from family Bibles are not usually included in government vital records.  
 +
 
 +
=== Marriage Returns  ===
  
'''Marriage returns '''are notices in government vital records that the marriage actually took place. A government marriage return may be:  
+
Marriage returns are notices in government vital records that the marriage actually took place. A government marriage return may be:  
  
 
*A note on the bond or license.  
 
*A note on the bond or license.  
Line 128: Line 138:
 
*After 1864, marriage register books or loose pages that list the names of several couples.
 
*After 1864, marriage register books or loose pages that list the names of several couples.
  
There are only a few marriage returns for years before 1849.  
+
There are only a few marriage returns for the years prior to 1849.  
  
The Public Archives of Nova Scotia has marriage licenses from about 1849–1851 to the county cutoff dates. These are available at the Family History Library on the following microfilms:  
+
The [http://novascotia.ca/archives/cap/ Public Archives of Nova Scotia] has marriage licenses from about 1849 or 1851 to the county cutoff date. These are available at the Family History Library on the following microfilms:  
  
*Nova Scotia. Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Marriages Licenses, 1849–1918. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1981–1982. (On 535 Family History Library&nbsp;{{FHL|316476|title-id|disp=films beginning with 1301853}}). The records are organized by county and then by year.
+
::Nova Scotia. ''Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Marriages Licenses, 1849–1918''. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1981–1982. (On 535 Family History Library&nbsp;{{FHL|316476|title-id|disp=films beginning with 1301853}}). The records are organized by county, then by year.
  
:The cutoff dates for the above records are:
+
The cutoff or ending dates for the above records are:  
  
 
{| width="688" class="vertical listing FCK__ShowTableBorders"
 
{| width="688" class="vertical listing FCK__ShowTableBorders"
Line 164: Line 174:
 
|}
 
|}
  
'''Marriage bonds''' exist for 1763–1863 (specifically for the years 1763, 1765, 1770–1780, 1782, 1784–1799, 1801–1850, 1854–1856, and 1858–1863). They are arranged in chronological order, and no index is available. They are located in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and are on the following microfilm at the Family History Library:  
+
=== Marriage Bonds  ===
 +
 
 +
Marriage bonds exist for 1763–1863 (specifically for the years 1763, 1765, 1770–1780, 1782, 1784–1799, 1801–1850, 1854–1856, and 1858–1863). They are arranged in chronological order, and no index is available. They are located in the [http://gov.ns.ca/nsarm/cap/ Public Archives of Nova Scotia] and are on the following microfilm at the Family History Library:  
  
*Transcripts of Marriage Bonds Issued at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1763–1871. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1983. (On Family History Library {{FHL|169192|title-id|disp=film 1376196 items 2–3}} and {{FHL|169192|title-id|disp=film 1376197 items 1–3}})
+
::''Transcripts of Marriage Bonds Issued at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1763–1871.'' Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1983. (On Family History Library {{FHL|169192|title-id|disp=film 1376196 items 2–3}} and {{FHL|169192|title-id|disp=film 1376197 items 1–3}})
  
 
=== Marriage Records  ===
 
=== Marriage Records  ===
 +
 +
==== Online Records====
 +
*'''1864-1918''' - {{RecordSearch|2242886|Nova Scotia Marriages, 1864-1918}} at [https://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch] — index and images
  
 
Marriage records from 1864 to 1908 are indexed by county and (within the county) by the family name. The Family History Library has the following records:  
 
Marriage records from 1864 to 1908 are indexed by county and (within the county) by the family name. The Family History Library has the following records:  
  
*Nova Scotia. Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Marriage records, 1864–1875. Salt Lake City; Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982–1983. (On 17 {{FHL|374091|title-id|disp=films beginning with 1317402}}) The records organized are by county and then by year.
+
::Nova Scotia. ''Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Marriage records, 1864–1875''''.'''''Salt Lake City; Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982–1983. (On 17 {{FHL|374091|title-id|disp=films beginning with 1317402}}) The records are organized by county, then by year.
  
=== Tip. Arrangement of Nova Scotia marriage records and indexes  ===
+
'''Arrangement of Marriage Records and Indexes:'''
  
 
The Marriage Bonds 1763-1871 are arranged by year and by date of the bond. Look for your ancestor's bond at the approximate date when he or she was married.  
 
The Marriage Bonds 1763-1871 are arranged by year and by date of the bond. Look for your ancestor's bond at the approximate date when he or she was married.  
Line 180: Line 195:
 
Other microfilmed marriage records for all years are usually arranged:  
 
Other microfilmed marriage records for all years are usually arranged:  
  
#First by year  
+
#First by year.
#then by the names of the counties in alphabetical order, Annapolis through Yarmouth.  
+
#Then by county in alphabetical order, Annapolis through Yarmouth.  
 
#Within each county, records may be grouped by locality. For example, records for Hantsport, Hants County, are separate from records for Windsor, Hants County.
 
#Within each county, records may be grouped by locality. For example, records for Hantsport, Hants County, are separate from records for Windsor, Hants County.
  
'''Indexes''' for years before 1864 are not complete. If you know an approximate year and county where your ancestor was married, search all available marriage records for that county, a few years around the time he married.
+
'''Searching for Marriage Records'''  
  
After 1864, if you know the county where your ancestor was married:  
+
Indexes for years before 1864 are not complete. If you know an approximate year and county where your ancestor married, search all available marriage records for that county, a few years before and after you believe your ancestor married.
 +
 
 +
After 1864, if you know the county where your ancestor married:  
  
 
#Obtain the marriage index for that county. Each county has a separate index. They are listed with the Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1864-1916.  
 
#Obtain the marriage index for that county. Each county has a separate index. They are listed with the Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1864-1916.  
#Find your ancestor's name in the index. Write down the information about year, volume, and page number.  
+
#Find your ancestor's name in the index. Write down the information for the year, volume, and page number.  
 
#Return to the listings for Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1864-1916.  
 
#Return to the listings for Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1864-1916.  
 
#Find the film number for the marriage register for the correct county and year.  
 
#Find the film number for the marriage register for the correct county and year.  
Line 212: Line 229:
 
:Halifax, NS B3J 2M9  
 
:Halifax, NS B3J 2M9  
 
:CANADA  
 
:CANADA  
:Telephone: 902-424-4381 Fax: 902-424-0678
+
:Phone: 902-424-4381 <br>
:Internet: http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/vstat/history.asp
+
:[http://novascotia.ca/sns/access/vitalstats.asp Vital Statistics Office's Website]&nbsp; <br>
 
 
== TOWNSHIP RECORDS  ==
 
 
 
Early township books can contain vital records of the founding families. Records of births, marriages, and deaths were usually interspersed among other records such as land records. Although the vital records are not always complete, these books can often contain helpful information. For a list of township books on file at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and the dates they cover, see Tracing Your Ancestors in Nova Scotia, by the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1981, pages 10–11 (see the “For Further Reading” section at the end of this outline).
 
  
<br> {{Canada Vital Records}}  
+
{{Canada Vital Records}}  
  
 
<br> '''Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:'''  
 
<br> '''Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:'''  
  
*[[Nova Scotia Births and Baptisms (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Nova Scotia Births and Baptisms - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Nova Scotia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Nova Scotia Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Nova Scotia Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Nova Scotia Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]<br>
+
*[[Nova Scotia Vital Records - FamilySearch Historical Records|Nova Scotia Vital Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]<br>
  
[[Category:Nova_Scotia]]
+
[[Category:Nova_Scotia Vital_Records]]
 +
{{H-langs|en=Nova Scotia Vital Records|fr=Nouvelle Ecosse : Registres d'Etat Civil}}

Latest revision as of 09:39, 3 September 2019

Nova Scotia Research Topics
Nova Scotia Flag.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Nova Scotia Background
Ethnicity
Local Research Resources

For research strategies and additional information, see Canada Vital Records

Background[edit | edit source]

Historical Background:

Nova Scotia was settled by the French in 1605. The French did not keep vital records. Instead, they recorded similar information in Catholic Church records. Very few church records of baptism, marriage, and burial for the French settlers exist before 1702. Church of England records for British settlers began in Halifax in 1749.

1864 Vital Records Registration:

In 1864 an attempt was made to register vital statistics in Nova Scotia. From 1867 to 1874 these records are fairly complete. In 1877 birth and death registration was discontinued and in 1908 it began again.

Township Books:

Births, marriages, and deaths are recorded in township books beginning in about 1760, when settlers from New England came to Nova Scotia. The township books began in 1760 and were discontinued beginning about 1860.Townships were never established on Cape Breton Island, and the township books covered only part of the rest of the province.  Marriages recorded in the books may be as early as 1702 and as late as 1920.

Marriage Bonds and Licenses:

Marriage bonds began in parts of Nova Scotia from 1763–1864, with a few for later years to 1871. Marriage licenses began in most Nova Scotia counties in 1849. Gradually other records were added. Just because a bond or license exists does not mean the marriage took place. You should look for proof of marriage in church records and other records if possible.

Birth and Death[edit | edit source]

Civil birth registrations were recorded in Nova Scotia between 1864 and 1876 and are held by the Nova Scotia Archives. Delayed registrations for births were filed from 1876 to 1908. However, not everyone registered. Province-wide recording of civil births began again on January 1, 1909. Birth records are retained by the Vital Statistics office for a period of 100 years.

Civil death registrations were recorded in Nova Scotia between 1864 and 1876. Civil death registration began again on October 1, 1908. The Nova Scotia Archives has death records of persons who died before 1965. The office of Vital Statistics has all death records for a period of 50 years.

Indexes 1864-1877

Birth and death records from 1864 to 1877 are indexed first by the family name, and then by county. Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management has put many vital records online.


The Family History Library has the following birth and death records:

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Search Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management for online vital records. To find complete information about your ancestor, you should search for his name in all records that existed when he married. For example, if he got married in 1870, there may be marriage records for him in the following records. Each record may include different information:

1763-1871 Nova Scotia Marriage Bonds, typescripts.
1849-1918 Marriage Licenses. These records include marriage returns, in addition to marriage intentions like bonds and licenses. After 1864, these records may include detailed marriage "slips" with names of parents of the bride and groom.
1864-1875 Marriage Records.
1864-1918 [Marriages in] Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages. These records have good indexes. For the years after 1864, look at indexes to these records first before trying to find your ancestor's records in the other groups.



Township Books

If your ancestor lived in a part of the province that had a township book, you should search that to find marriage records. They were made for certain townships in the western part of Nova Scotia between 1760 and 1860 or later, and some include records of marriages as early as 1702 and as late as 1920.

Nova Scotia township books are very similar to the town records in the New England states. They include a variety of records, not just vital records of births, marriages and deaths. Most existing township books are at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. For a list of township books on file at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and the dates they cover, see:

Tracing Your Ancestors in Nova Scotia, Public Archives of Nova Scotia. Halifax, 1981.

To find the township locations, see:

Index to the 1871 Dominion Directory of Canada, Volume 3: Nova Scotia, for a sketch map of townships and counties in Nova Scotia. It also lists townships included in each county. Lovell's Canadian Dominion Directory for 1871, vol. 8, pp. 1529-1792, lists Nova Scotia towns with their townships and counties.

While there are many Nova Scotia marriage records, the two basic types of government marriage records are:

  • Marriage intentions: records that show a couple intended to marry.
  • Marriage returns: records that show a couple actually married.

The terms intentions and returns are not always the terms used in the records. These terms describe the records. Marriage intentions and marriage returns for your ancestor may be found in several groups of Nova Scotia government vital records. 

Marriage Intentions[edit | edit source]

Marriage intentions may include bonds and licenses to marry, which show the government allows the marriage to take place. Marriage intentions may include some or all of the following information:

MARRIAGE INTENTIONS 1763–1918
USUALLY CONTAIN MAY CONTAIN

Name of man and woman who intended to marry. Ages of the man and woman who intended to marry Residences of the couple. Date and place of bond or license. Name, residence, and religion of clergyman to perform ceremony.

Occupation of man who intended to marry. Places of birth of the couple. Name, residence, and occupation of a bondsman (who may be a relative). Name of the woman's father, if she was underage. Father's permission to marry was required for underage brides.

If the couple proclaimed banns, that is, they announced in church that they intended to marry, there may be no record of it in government vital records. However, there may be a church record.

Not all couples who intended to marry actually married. You should look for proof that they married.

Proof that a marriage actually took place may be:

  • A note on the bond or license.
  • A separate marriage return certificate in the same file as the bond or license, or in another government file.
  • An entry in a township book.
  • A record in a church parish register.
  • A newspaper notice.
  • A note in a family Bible.

Only some of these types of proof are government vital records. Church records, newspaper notices, and notes from family Bibles are not usually included in government vital records.

Marriage Returns[edit | edit source]

Marriage returns are notices in government vital records that the marriage actually took place. A government marriage return may be:

  • A note on the bond or license.
  • A separate document signed and dated by the minister and sent to the government.
  • After 1864, a marriage "slip" that includes detailed information about the couple and their parents.
  • After 1864, marriage register books or loose pages that list the names of several couples.

There are only a few marriage returns for the years prior to 1849.

The Public Archives of Nova Scotia has marriage licenses from about 1849 or 1851 to the county cutoff date. These are available at the Family History Library on the following microfilms:

Nova Scotia. Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Marriages Licenses, 1849–1918. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1981–1982. (On 535 Family History Library films beginning with 1301853). The records are organized by county, then by year.

The cutoff or ending dates for the above records are:

  • Annapolis 1908
  • Antigonish 1910
  • Cape Breton 1912
  • Colchester 1914
  • Cumberland 1913
  • Digby 1909
  • Guysborough 1906
  • Halifax 1916
  • Hants 1916
  • Inverness 1908
  • Kings 1909
  • Lunenburg 1908
  • Pictou 1917
  • Queens 1910
  • Richmond 1918
  • Shelburne 1908
  • Victoria 1918
  • Yarmouth 1908

Marriage Bonds[edit | edit source]

Marriage bonds exist for 1763–1863 (specifically for the years 1763, 1765, 1770–1780, 1782, 1784–1799, 1801–1850, 1854–1856, and 1858–1863). They are arranged in chronological order, and no index is available. They are located in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and are on the following microfilm at the Family History Library:

Transcripts of Marriage Bonds Issued at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1763–1871. Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1983. (On Family History Library film 1376196 items 2–3 and film 1376197 items 1–3)

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Marriage records from 1864 to 1908 are indexed by county and (within the county) by the family name. The Family History Library has the following records:

Nova Scotia. Board of Statistics of Marriages, Births, and Deaths. Marriage records, 1864–1875'.Salt Lake City; Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982–1983. (On 17 films beginning with 1317402) The records are organized by county, then by year.

Arrangement of Marriage Records and Indexes:

The Marriage Bonds 1763-1871 are arranged by year and by date of the bond. Look for your ancestor's bond at the approximate date when he or she was married.

Other microfilmed marriage records for all years are usually arranged:

  1. First by year.
  2. Then by county in alphabetical order, Annapolis through Yarmouth.
  3. Within each county, records may be grouped by locality. For example, records for Hantsport, Hants County, are separate from records for Windsor, Hants County.

Searching for Marriage Records

Indexes for years before 1864 are not complete. If you know an approximate year and county where your ancestor married, search all available marriage records for that county, a few years before and after you believe your ancestor married.

After 1864, if you know the county where your ancestor married:

  1. Obtain the marriage index for that county. Each county has a separate index. They are listed with the Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1864-1916.
  2. Find your ancestor's name in the index. Write down the information for the year, volume, and page number.
  3. Return to the listings for Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1864-1916.
  4. Find the film number for the marriage register for the correct county and year.
  5. Obtain the film.
  6. Find your ancestor's record in the marriage register.

Then look at all records for that date in all the other groups of marriage records. Other records may have more complete information than the marriage register.

Make photocopies of all the records that you found.

If you know the county where your ancestor lived after 1864 and you don't find your ancestor's record in the indexes to the marriage registers, look at the other marriage records for that county and for surrounding counties.

If you don't know when or where your ancestor was married, see How to Locate Your Ancestor in Canada.

Vital Statistics Office[edit | edit source]

Later records of births, deaths, and marriages can be obtained from:

Vital Statistics Offices
Department of Business and Consumer Services
P.O. Box 157
Halifax, NS B3J 2M9
CANADA
Phone: 902-424-4381
Vital Statistics Office's Website 


Wiki articles describing online collections are found at: