Nova Scotia Births - What else you can try

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This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find birth information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the birth section of the Nova Scotia Guided Research page.

Additional online resources

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Other Databases


Online Images (Browsable Only)

Some collections have not been indexed but are available to browse image by image.




Substitute records

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Additional Records with Birth Information

Substitute records may contain information about more than one event and are used when records for an event are not available. Records that are used to substitute for birth events may not have been created at the time of the birth. The accuracy of the record is contingent upon when the information was recorded. Search for information in multiple substitute records to confirm the accuracy of these records.

Use these substitute records to locate birth information about your ancestor:
Wiki Page
FamilySearch(FS) Collections
Why to search the records
Death Records
Nova Scotia Death Guided Research
Death records may include the birthdate or age of the deceased. With the age, a birthdate can be approximated. Click on the link to the left to return to the "Death" page.
Census Records
Canada Census FS Collections
Nova Scotia can be found in Canada censuses from 1851 to 1921. Census records often give ages of the recorded individuals, allowing researchers to calculate birth years.
Cemetery Records
See Wiki Page
Gravestone inscriptions and cemetery records may include a birthdate.
Church Records
See Wiki Page
Baptism records occasionally provide a birthdate. In addition, a death or burial record may include an age that can approximate a birthdate. To access church records, first determine the denomination.
Newspapers
See Wiki Page
In addition to obituaries, newspapers publish notices of marriages, divorces, deaths, and funerals. In recent years, birth notices have also been published providing the names of the parents and sex of the child.
Obituaries
See Wiki Page
Obituaries often include the birthdate and place of the deceased.





Improve searching

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Tips for finding births

Successfully finding birth records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:

  • Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Search parents. Search for the parents, if known, as the child's first name may not be on the birth record.
  • Search given name. Search by given name (leave out the last name) with the approximate date of birth.
  • Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate birth date or parent's names if known.
  • Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
  • Search province. Search using the province name only instead of by smaller locality.





Why the record may not exist

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Known Record Gaps

Records Start

  • 1702 Very few church records for baptisms for French settlers exist before 1702.
  • 1749 Church of England records for British settlers in Halifax began.
  • 1864 Civil registration began.
  • 1876 Civil registration was discontinued. Records fairly complete 1867-1874.
  • 1908 Province-wide civil registration began again.










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