Reference Centre, Quick Reference Charts

Civil Registration - Canada, Nova Scotia

Registration of births & deaths commenced 1 October 1908, marriages 1864*

See "How to Obtain" below chart

Type of DataBirthMarriageDeathIndex
Name of Individualyes checkmarkyes checkmarkyes checkmarkPrivacy laws govern who can apply for certificates. Visit their website noted in the 'How to Obtain' column of this chart for full particulars.

Historical BMD registrations are fully searchable and viewable on Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics website as follows:
births 1864-1877, 1908-1914;
delayed birth registrations ~ 1830-1914;
marriages 1763-1939;
death registrations ~ 1864-1877; 1908-1964 and
deaths for the City of Halifax only 1890-1908.

Various combinations of searchable and browsable events are also online at Family Search as follows:
births and baptisms, 1702-1896,
births 1864-1877,
delayed births 1837-1904,
marriages 1711-1909,
marriages 1864-1918,
marriages 1907-1932,
deaths 1864-1877,
deaths 1890-1955,
deaths 1956-1957,
vital records 1763-1957.
Marital Statusno crosscheckyes checkmarkyes checkmark
Ageno crosscheckyes checkmark
including place of birth
yes checkmark
with place of birth
Occupationno crosscheckyes checkmarkyes checkmark
Date of Eventyes checkmarkyes checkmarkyes checkmark
with cause of death, duration of illness, name of attending physician and, on later certificates, date and place of burial.
Place of Eventyes checkmarkyes checkmark
with current place of residence
yes checkmark
with place of burial
Name of Fatheryes checkmark
with current residence and date and place of marriage to spouse
yes checkmarkyes checkmark
Father's Occupationyes checkmarkyes checkmarkyes checkmark
If Father LivingMay state if deceased.no crosscheckno crosscheck
Place of birth of Fatheryes checkmark
included on later certificates only
no crosscheckyes checkmark
on later certificates only
Name of Motheryes checkmarkyes checkmarkyes checkmark
Maiden Surname of Motheryes checkmarkyes checkmarkyes checkmark
Mother's Occupationno crosscheckno crosscheckno crosscheck
If Mother Livingno crosscheckno crosscheckno crosscheck
Place of birth of Motherno crosscheckno crosscheckyes checkmark
on later certificates only
Witnessesno crosscheckyes checkmarkno crosscheck
Relationship of Witnesses to Individualno crosscheckno crosscheckno crosscheck
Addresses of Witnessesno crosscheckno crosscheckno crosscheck
Name of Informant of Eventyes checkmarkno crosscheckyes checkmark
Relationship of Informant to Individualno crosscheckno crosscheckyes checkmark
Address of Informantyes checkmarkno crosscheckyes checkmark
Changes to Information on certificates*Registration of births lapsed between 1877 and 1908 so many records are missing or incomplete.

Date and place of parents' marriage was added during the period 1864-1877 but ceased to be included after 1877.

Township books covering part of Nova Scotia record early events circa 1760 through 1860.

Births 1915-present must be obtained from Nova Scotia Vital Records office.
Mandatory civil registration of marriages began in 1864, although compliance was not universal throughout the province until the early 20th century.

Some later certificates include religious denomination of the parties and whether marriage was by banns or licence and if by banns the dates banns were read were also included.

Other marriage sources include: Marriage bonds starting 1763, marriage licences starting 1849.

Township books covering part of Nova Scotia record early events circa 1760 through 1860.

Marriages 1940-present must be obtained from Nova Scotia Vital Records office.
*Registration of deaths lapsed between 1877 and 1908 so many records are missing or incomplete.

Township books covering part of Nova Scotia record early events circa 1760 through 1860.

Deaths 1965-present must be obtained from Nova Scotia Vital Records office.

How to Obtain

* Full registration of births and deaths began 1 October 1908 but was not fully complied with until 1920. Marriage registrations began 1864 and have continued throughout to the present time but formal registration was implemented on varying dates throughout the province between 1906 and 1918.

In person:
To visit an access Nova Scotia service centre please select an office from this webpage.

By Telephone:
Tel: 902-424-5200, or
toll free in Nova Scotia 1-800-670-4357
Fax: 902-424-0720

Online:
Nova Scotia - Vital Statistics - Certificate Request

By mail:
Public Enquiries - Service Nova Scotia
PO Box 2734,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada
B3J 3K5
Email: askus@gov.ns.ca

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