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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian: Archival Centres  by Ryan Taylor. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Prince Edward Island

Public Archives and Records Office of Prince Edward Island
Hon. George Coles Building, 4th Floor
175 Richmond Street
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Telephone: (902) 368-4290
Email: archives@gov.pe.ca

Useful publication: A Short Guide for Researchers

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 1000
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 7M4

The Public Archives and Records Office of Prince Edward Island (PARO) website contains a number of useful options, including a guide on tracing your ancestors and another on historic buildings. Among the genealogical materials at the archives are census (1728-1901; the website describes their completeness and usefulness), pre-1886 baptisms and pre-1906 burial records, marriages 1832-1923 (indexed), marriage licenses and bonds, inquests 1789-1935, wills 1807-1920 and the usual land documents. An interesting complement to the land documents is the collection of rent books. If your ancestor was a tenant, there will not be deeds to consult but these rent books (basically accounts kept by landlords) can be useful to locate families. The archives also have a library side with directories, genealogies, and local histories.

The in-house database, Kindex, is a directory of individuals researching particular family names who are willing to be contacted by others with similar interests.

As well, the PARO Collection Database is searchable online including vital statistics (baptismal, birth, marriage and death), census records for 1841, 1881, 1891, and 1901, and archival material such as photographs, maps, architectural plans, and textual items. The Prince Edward Island Petition Index is also online in a searchable database. Some records are available as digitized images and others are available for a fee by request.

The censuses for 1891 and 1901 were indexed in a joint Prince Edward Island archives and genealogical society project. An index is available for the 1881 census and full details are available for the 1841 census. A link to Automated Genealogy is provided for the 1911 index.

The file which every Prince Edward Island researcher should know is the Master Name Index, on cards, which includes cemetery transcriptions, census, passenger lists, marriages, newspapers and funeral home records. Part one of this material has been filmed by FamilySearch and complete sets of the Master Name Index microfilm can be found outside Prince Edward Island at the Toronto Reference Library, Montréal Central Library, Allen County Public Library (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and the New England Historical Genealogical Society (Boston).

The reading-room reference desk services all forms of archival materials (paper, print and other media). There is limited seating. Check opening times; the archives are closed on weekends and holidays. There is no interlibrary loan. However, the archives will answer written and telephone requests with a brief search. Multiple requests are referred to the private researchers list. Before asking a question, refer to the “Sending Reference Inquiries” section on the website. There is no charge for the query service, so no fees should be sent. Charges for copying can be invoiced.

The website, which is part of the greater Government of Prince Edward Island site, can be accessed to request information in advance of a visit.



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