Exploring this Resource
Before You Begin....
- This database is for the Cemetery Records Collection at Nova Scotia Archives
- It provides background information only — the actual tombstone inscriptions have NOT been entered and are NOT available on this website.
- The Cemetery Records Collection is NOT available via interlibrary loan. Researchers must visit the Public Archives Site, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, NS, to view the records. If you're not able to visit Nova Scotia Archives in person, you may want to Hire a Researcher to assist you.
Some Additional Information
- The database presented here includes information about three types of records:
- records of cemeteries incorporated by statute
- tombstone inscriptions
- funeral home records
- Large cemeteries were frequently incorporated as businesses, and trustees or employees kept official record books and registers; Nova Scotia Archives has all or part of the corporate records created by:
- Chebogue Cemetery, Yarmouth Co.
- Camp Hill Cemetery, St. John's Cemetery, Holy Cross Cemetery, Mount Olivet Cemetery, and Fort Massey Cemetery, Halifax
- Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lower Sackville, Halifax Co.
- Port Maitland Cemetery, Yarmouth Co.
- Mountain Cemetery, Yarmouth
- Tombstone inscriptions capture only the information available on the stone when the transcription was done. Gravestones disappear over time, inscriptions become illegible, and there are always more people buried in a cemetery than can be accounted for by the surviving markers and the names carved on them. The quality of the transcribed record also depends upon the accuracy of the person who did the transcription work.
- Funeral home records held at Nova Scotia Archives include:
- Bordens' Undertakers, Hantsport, 1870-1942
- Chandlers' Funeral Home, Liverpool, 1893-1980
- Cruikshank's Halifax Funeral Home, 1905-1966
- Dargie's Funeral Home, Annapolis Royal, 1925-1981
- Halifax Funeral Home, 1939-1961
- J.C.B. Olive Funeral Home, Truro, 1899-1927
- Oxford Funeral Home, 1905-1918
- Charles Ramsey Funeral Home, Annapolis Royal, 1900-1955
- J.A. Snow Funeral Home Ltd., Halifax, ca. 1883-1942
- V.S. Sweeney Ltd., Yarmouth, 1939-1945
- The Cemetery Records Collection at Nova Scotia Archives is uneven and incomplete – geographical coverage for the province varies widely, with some counties, regions and communities well represented, but others not; quality of the transcribed information is also inconsistent, with some records well-organized and others little more than scribbled lists of names and dates.
And Don't Forget...
- Most churches keep burial registers as part of their congregational records. These registers usually record name of the deceased, their age, date of burial and last place of residence. Frequently the date of death and cemetery of interment are also noted. Explore our Nova Scotia Parish Records Microfilm Database to determine whether there are burial registers available to help with your research.
- Mandatory registration of deaths was required by the Government of Nova Scotia after 1908. These records frequently identify the place of burial and sometimes the funeral home involved. (Earlier death registrations, 1864-77, usually don't include these details.) Visit our Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Website to explore all these records — indexed, digitized, and available online.
- Cemetery inscription projects are frequently sponsored by local archives, museums or historical societies, and the records are sometimes available only in that community. Explore the trip-planning resources within novascotia.com to find the archives and research centres closest to where your family lived in Nova Scotia.