Nova Scotia, Canada, Vital Records:
Births, Marriage & Deaths

"Red Head", Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

About this collection

The Nova Scotia, Canada Vitals collection includes roughly one million names in Birth, Marriage and Death records. Vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) mark the milestones of our lives and are the foundation of family history research. They can be useful in proving or disproving other sources, give you a more complete picture of your ancestor, help you distinguish between two people with the same name, and help you find clues to earlier life events.

Historical Background on Nova Scotia:

Permanent European settlement in Nova Scotia began with the French in 1604. The area would alternate between British and French control into the next century, and war and politics would play a significant role in determining the eventual demographics of the province. Scottish settlers began arriving as early as 1621 and would become the dominant ethnic group in a province they would eventually share with the English, Irish, German, First Nations, Acadian French, African Nova Scotian, and others.

Included data collections

Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1836–1910

A unique aspect of Nova Scotia birth records are some 95,000 delayed birth registrations. For several years after 1908, the Vital Statistics Office allowed people born in Nova Scotia before 1908 to have births or deaths officially recorded. They use the same form and record the same information as other birth registrations, but the files can also contain up to four additional supporting documents, which might come from family, census, or church records. Delayed registrations were voluntary.

Birth records in this database may contain: name, birth date, gender, birth place, year of registration, registration book and number. [Additional information about the parents may be found on the images themselves.]

Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1836–1910

Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, 1763–1935

This database includes more than 12,000 marriage bonds dating from 1763 to 1864. This represents only a fraction of marriages that took place during these years, and a marriage bond does not prove that the marriage took place or provide the marriage date, the bond indicated both no legal obstacles to the marriage and the groom's sincerity, as the bond would be forfeit if he backed out.

Marriage records in this database typically include, although details may be missing in early records: groom's name, groom's age, groom's marital status, bride's name, bride's age, bride's marital status, marriage date and place, registration year, book and page number. [Additional information may also be found on the images.]

Nova Scotia, Canada, Marriages, 1763–1935

Nova Scotia, Canada, Deaths, 1864–1877, 1890–1960

Death registrations can include information such as, name, gender, date of death, place of death, registration year, book and number. Additional information may be found on the images themselves, which can include birth date, birthplace, occupation, marital status, spouse, names of parents, place of disposition, attending physician, and information on the informant.

Nova Scotia, Canada, Deaths, 1864–1877, 1890–1960

User Agreement

This database connects users to images of records provided by Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (NSARM). Before using this database, you will be asked to comply with the Terms and Conditions of Access to and Use of the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Online Service. This will be effective for the duration of your browser session. After accepting the Terms and Conditions, you can search the database and view records; clicking to view an image will open the page on NSARM's website with the corresponding image. Results from this database will not appear in a global Ancestry search; this database must be accessed and searched separately.