20 March 2007

Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics

If you're looking for Nova Scotia birth registrations from 1864-1877, marriages from 1864 - 1930, or deaths from 1864-1877 and 1 October 1908-1955, they're here and free to view. The long promised web site went live on Monday here.

Nova Scotia's policy is to restricts availability of births registrations to 100 years, marriages to 75 years and deaths 50 years after the end of the year in which the event was registered.

Unusually the province decided to discontinue birth and death registrations between 1878 and September 1908 inclusive.

An initial quick search allows you to specify last and given names and the event type(s). Agree to the conditions of service and see the number of hits for each type of event. Click on the births, marriages or deaths tab to see the first page of ten results. You can flip to the the next set of ten easily, or click the icon to see an image of the original record or order a better quality copy.

I tried it out on the death of one of the Ottawa Company of Sharpshooters, Ernest Arthur Nash. My Nash search would have been much easier if I'd had this database when we did the Sharpshooter research. Although the first names were reversed, maybe the importance of being Ernest isn't so pervasive, the parents names and his birth date were the same as I had previously.

There is an advanced search allowing you to specify a year or year range for the event, and a county.

You see the original image using the Viewpoint reader. It should load automatically, but if not follow the instructions to download. I found the image was often too small to view comfortably, even after having zoomed, and resorted to doing a screen capture and pasting the image into a graphics program so I could zoom in further.

This is a nice addition to the suite of Canadian databases online.

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