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Birth, marriage and death records are held by Vital Statistics and by Nova Scotia Archives, depending on when the event occurred.

For more information on birth, marriage and death records held by Nova Scotia Archives, visit

Vital Statistics NSARM
Birth Records January 1, 1915 to the present 1864 - 1876 and 1909 - 1914
Marriage Records 1940 to the present before 1940
Death Records 1965 to the present before 1965

 Birth Records

Civil birth registrations were recorded in Nova Scotia between 1864 and 1876. These records are held by Nova Scotia Archives. From 1876 to 1908 some delayed registrations of birth were filed, however, records do not exist for all individuals.

Province wide recording began again on January 1, 1909 and continues to the present day. Birth records are retained by Vital Statistics for a period of 100 years.

Marriage Records

Marriages have been recorded in Nova Scotia since 1864. Records of marriage bonds dating back to the mid 1700s are available through the Nova Scotia Archives.

Marriage records between the years indicated below for each county to 1939 are also held by the Nova Scotia Archives.

Marriage Records by County and Year to 1939 held at Nova Scotia Archives
Annapolis, 1908 Guysborough, 1906 Pictou, 1917
Antigonish, 1910 Halifax, 1916 Queens, 1910
Cape Breton, 1912 Hants, 1916 Richmond, 1918
Colchester, 1914 Inverness, 1908 Shelburne, 1908
Cumberland, 1913 Kings, 1909 Victoria, 1918
Digby, 1909 Lunenburg, 1908 Yarmouth, 1908

Death Records

Civil death registrations were recorded in Nova Scotia between 1864 and 1876, and began again on October 1, 1908. Death records of persons who died before 1965 are held at the Nova Scotia Archives.

All death records are retained by the office of Vital Statistics for a period of 50 years.

Notes on Genealogy Research:

Birth certificates of deceased persons born less than 100 years ago or married less than 75 years ago cannot be issued for genealogy.

Death certificates can be released if the death occurred more than 20 years ago and the deceased would be 75 years of age or more.

A search of records covers a three year period and includes the year prior to and the year following the date of the event provided in your application. If a record is not located, a search fee will be charged. If the record is located and a certificate is issued, the search fee is included in the cost of the certificate. Additional years can be searched, a search fee will be charged for each three year increment.

To find out more about the applicable fees, please visit Vital Statistics Fees.

Please include proof of your identify (i.e., a copy of your driver's license, birth or baptism certificate) with your initial request.

Other sources of genealogical information include church records, records kept in family Bibles, and records held by the Genealogical Society of Utah, (50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, U.S.A.), where a multitude of records have been compiled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). Visit the LDS website for a list of Family History Centres in Nova Scotia.

Visit our online resources page for more genealogy links.

Please contact us if you require additional information about genealogical records available from our Halifax office.