Genealogical Data
Some Basic Tools
  • Published Genealogies
    We have two volumes of these available as PDF dowloads.

    The first publication was data constructed by Allan Marble.  It consists of essentially all of the 'Family Genealogies' which Allan could find, no matter where they were published:
    A Catalogue of Published Genealogies of Nova Scotia Families
    .  [PDF file].

    The second publication was data constructed by Terrence Punch.  It consists of all of the genealogies published in the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society's journal from 1981 - 2016:
    Published Genealogies, 1981 - 2016  [PDF file].
  • Newspaper Map for Documents at the Nova Scotia Archives
    In order to even look through newspapers at the Archives, it is necessary to know, not just what newspapers they have, but what locations those newspapers served.  This clever little tool is designed to solve just that problem:
    Newspapers in Nova Scotia Available on Microfilm at the Public Archives

  • Nova Scotia Genealogist Research Journal
    A perhaps surprisingly fecund store of genealogical material is found in our research journal.  There is a nice index available which helps locate information which is of interest, and a set of samples which provide an idea of what is available there:
    "The Nova Scotia Genealogist" Research Journal
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Members-Only Data
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Core Genealogical Materials
The core genealogical data groups are all large, relatively systematic data collections.  In our case, three of the four data groups are large searchable databases.
  • Vital Statistics
    These records consist of the primary events in life-histories:  births, baptisms, marriages, deaths.  These were among the first of the large aggregate genealogical data collections developed in Nova Scotia during the 1970s and 1980s.  Provincial registration of vital statistics started in 1864, so almost all of the work has focused on the period before that.  There are 14 datasets online, but we completed and published a more systematic inventory in print of Vital Statistics from newspapers for the period, 1769 - 1856.  Most of these are still available from our Gift Shop, or as a "Lookup" through our Research Queries service. 
  • Obits & Death Notices  [Searchable Database]
    Death notices are perfunctory, not more than "name, rank, and serial number", and were usually published as a free service of the newspapers.  Obituaries, however, are gold mines of information, commonly identifying relatives, sometimes previous marital relations, employment, volunteer achievement, and, best of all, there may be anecdotes about interesting aspects of personality or quirky behaviour.  We maintain an index of some 234,000 obituaries for the period 1961 to 1998, and have been connecting scanned newspaper clippings, with about 40,000 matched at present.  We would like to extend the index and clipping scans back to 1900.  Given the length of many people's lives, this would pick up a lot of the people who were born after 1850.  In 2023, we obtained 70,000 obituary transcriptions from the Roberta Joudrey Collection.  They needed some cleaning, but we uploaded 10,000 records in December, 2023 to our Obits & Death Notices" database, and a further 10,000 records in April, 2024.  Work is ongoing, and further increments will be uploaded when they are completed.
  • Cemetery Records  [Searchable Database]
    In HRM (Halifax, Dartmouth and former Halifax County), we currently have 58 cemeteries with some 20,000 cemetery records in the searchable database.  We have an additional 35 cemeterries in HRM with stone photographs which have not been published yet.  By our count, the HRM region contains 241 cemeteries in total with an unknown number of cemetery stones.  We have recently initiated an HRM Cemeteries project to map those cemetery locations, and start systematically conducting stone photography, transcription, and plot plans.

  • Census Information [Searchable Database])
    We have some census data sets for 1770, 1817, 1827, and 1851, but we have a searchable database for the 1838 census of Nova Scotia.  This consists of 24,270 records.  It provides information on family sizes, and the age distribution of the children.  By 1861, well-managed decennial censuses by the federal government are underway, and have continued in that manner ever since.

Secondary Genealogical Materials
  • Other Genealogical Data
    The data records in this section are not part of a larger data system, but are specialized datasets.  They represent work on some particular problem or area of interest that somebody had.  They are complete as far as they went.  The page contains the following sections:

    Cemetery Datasets - 2x
    Church Datasets - 3x
    Estates, Pensions & Wills Datasets - 5x

    Legal Matter - 3x
    Family Histories - 4x
    Government Datasets - 3x
    Hospital Datasets - 3x
    Immigration & Settler Datasets - 4x
    Military Records - 3x
    Places & Names Datasets - 5x
    Schools Dataset - 1x
    Exchange Publications - 1x
    Military Datasets