Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905 .
In this set of parish registers, the births or baptisms, marriages, and deaths or burials are usually entered in separate volumes. A few volumes have intermixed entries; some are indexed. Early registers are written in paragraph format, while later registers are pre-printed with the information filled in by hand in each column.
The text is usually in English, although a few records are in Latin or French. This set also includes transcriptions of original registers for some parishes. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish was originally known as the Diocese of Arichat and was established on September 22, 1844. Previously, the diocese was part of the Diocese of Quebec.
On August 23, 1886, the see was moved from Arichat to the town of Antigonish and the diocese became the Diocese of Antigonish. The diocese covers seven counties in northeastern Nova Scotia: Richmond, Inverness, Victoria, Cape Breton, Antigonish, Pictou and Guysborough. Catholic records are traditionally kept on the parish level so the registers are usually found at the church where the event occurred. Based on statistics from the 1901 Canadian census, around 28% of the population of Nova Scotia was Catholic and 58% of the Catholics in Nova Scotia lived in the Diocese of Antigonish. About 68% of the pre-1906 parishes in the diocese are included in this record set.
These parish registers cover 1823-1905, dates vary for each parish. Parish registers are considered a very reliable source for family history research because they contain a record of an event usually entered into the register at or very near the time the event occurred.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Diocese of Antigonish. Antigonish Catholic Diocese records. Diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
These baptismal records usually contain the following information:
- Date and place of baptism
- Child's name and date of birth
- Names of parents
- Names of godparents
These marriage records usually contain the following information:
- Date and place of marriage
- Names of the groom and bride
- Names of witnesses
These death records usually contain the following information:
- Date and place of death and burial
- Name and age of deceased
- Birth place of deceased
- Cause of death
- Officiating priest
- Name of cemetery
How to Use the Records
To begin your search in this collection, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- Name of ancestor, bride or groom, or deceased
- Date and place of event
Search the Collection
For a collection that is searchable by name:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
For a browse collection:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "Name of County" category
⇒ Select the "Name of Town" category
⇒ Select the "Name of Parish" category
⇒ Select the "Event Type" category which takes you to the images
Look at each image one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Using the Information
When you have found the ancestor that you are looking for, the following will help you further your research:
- Use the age on the marriage records to calculate a birth year.
General Information About These Records
Because civil registration of births and deaths was sporadic in Nova Scotia until 1908, church records are a very important source for birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial information. Use parish registers to identify individuals, parents, spouses, event dates, places of residence, and possible relatives who may have served as witnesses. Parish registers were created to keep a written record of baptisms, marriages, and burials for the Catholic Church.
Known Issues with This Collection
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905" database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JV9B-CJJ): accessed 11 July 2012), Carrol K Fraser and Annie Fraser, 10 Nov 1897; citing marriage records; Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.