Prince Edward Island Church Records

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Prince Edward Island Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Prince Edward Island Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Traditionally the population of Prince Edward Island has been evenly divided between Catholic and Protestant affiliations. The 2001 census indicated number of adherents for the Roman Catholic Church with 63,240 (47%) and various Protestant churches with 57,805 (43%). This included the United Church of Canada with 26,570 (20%); the Presbyterian Church with 7,885 (6%) and the Anglican Church of Canada with 6,525 (5%). If one considers that the founders of the United Church of Canada were largely Presbyterians in Prince Edward Island, the Island has one of the highest percentages of Presbyterians in the country. The Island also has one of the largest number of Free Church of Scotland buildings in Canada.[1]

Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]

To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

Look for online records.[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Caution sign.png

Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  1. Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
  2. Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!

FamilySearch[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com[edit | edit source]

Other Collections[edit | edit source]

Master Name Index[edit | edit source]

These are names extracted from census returns, marriage bonds, land and church records, passenger lists, newspapers, obituaries, and so forth. Original at Charlottetown, P.E.I.: P.E.I. Genealogical Society and P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation, 1985

Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Family History Library (FHL) has microfilmed and/or digitized records for churches in the Canada.
  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under Prince Edward Island, the county, or a town.
  • Because the churches gave copies of their records to the government for civil registration, search under both thhe "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics.
  • If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
  • Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
  • To find records:
a. Click on the records of Canada, Prince Edward Island.
b. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
c. Or, click on Places within Canada, Prince Edward Island at the top of the page, and a list of provinces will appear.
d. Click on your province.
e. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topics. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
f. Next, click on Places within Canada, Prince Edward Island, [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
g. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
h. Click on the "Church records" and "Civil registration" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
i. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]

Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.

  • Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
  • To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
  • Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
  • A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
  • If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
  • See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Addresses[edit | edit source]

Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.

Here you will find archive information unique to the province. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.


Public Archives and Records Office (PARO)[edit | edit source]

Public Archives and Records Office
Atlantic Technology Centre (ATC), Suite L20
176 Great George Street
PO Box 1000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7M4
Canada
Phone: 902-368-4290
Fax: 902-368-6327
E-mail:archives@gov.pe.ca

Most churches kept records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths. The Archives has copies of many church records on microfilm. Indexes are available for some records of the Church of Scotland, St. John's Presbyterian Church in Belfast, St. Peter's Anglican Church in Charlottetown, and St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church on Lennox Island.

New England Historic Genealogical Society[edit | edit source]

  • Prince Edward Iisland Genealogy at AmericanAncestors NEHGS has a list of denominations, the church locations for each town, records and years available, and their microfilm numbers for each.. Scroll down to the "Church Records" section, and click on the link, "View full list of denominations."


New England Historic Genealogical Society
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116-3007
1-888-296-3447

If you cannot visit in person, you can hire their staff to search records and prepare copies: Contact E-mail: research@nehgs.org, Telephone: 617-226-1233.

National Archives of Canada[edit | edit source]

The National Archives of Canada also has the early French Catholic records of Notre-Dame (1724–1758) and St-Pierre (1721–1724, 1749–1758) in St-Pierre-du-Nord.
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0N4
Canada
Service Points Outside Ottawa

Telephone: 613-996-5115 or 1-866-578-7777 (toll-free in Canada and the United States)
TTY: 613-992-6969 or 1-866-299-1699 (toll-free in Canada)
Fax: 613-995-6274


Anglican[edit | edit source]

Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Archives
1340 Cathedral Lane
Halifax, NS B3H 2Z1
Canada
Phone: 902-406-8982
Fax: 902-425-0717
E-mail: archives@nspeidiocese.ca

Baptist[edit | edit source]

Atlantic Baptist Archives
Acadia University
Esther Clark Wright Archives
Vaughan Memorial Library Special Collections
Acadia University
P.O. Box 4
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
Canada
E-mail: archives@acadiau.ca
Reference Desk: (902) 585-1011

The Atlantic Baptist Archives at Acadia University preserves the records of nearly 800 Baptist Churches in Atlantic Canada. These archival finding aids are inventories of some, but not all, church records in the Archives. New finding aids will continue to be added as they are created.

If you do not see your church listed, please email us: archives@acadiau.ca

Catholic[edit | edit source]

Church of Scotland[edit | edit source]

Methodist Church[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian Church[edit | edit source]

United Church of Canada[edit | edit source]

Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council Archives[edit | edit source]

Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council
21 Wright St.
Sackville New Brunswick E4L 4P8
Canada
Phone: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 6159
Email: swallace@united-church.ca

The Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council/Regional Council 15 Archives is mandated to collect, preserve, and provide access to the records of the Maritime, Gaspé, and Bermuda regions of the The United Church of Canada. We also have pre-1925 records of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational congregations in the Maritimes and Gaspé which joined The United Church of Canada in 1925.

Go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination to find more archives.[edit | edit source]

There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources. This is especially important if local archives are not given above.

Wiki Articles for Records of Major Churches in Canada

Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:


Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]

You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:

  • name, including middle name and maiden name
  • names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
  • exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
  • names and approximate birthdates of children
  • all known places of residence
  • occupations
  • military service details


Dark thin font green pin Version 4.pngCarefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Prince Edward Island:Religion", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Edward_Island#Religion, accessed 2 August 2020.