Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Nova Scotia,  Canada
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Location of Nova Scotia, Canada
Record Description
Record Type Church
Collection years 1823-1905
Languages English, Latin, French Word List|French
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Antigonish Catholic Diocese

What is in this Collection?

This collection contains church records for the years 1823-1905; dates vary for each parish.

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.

This is a partner project with the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia to index digital-born images for this Catholic diocese. The images contain church records for some, but not all parishes in the diocese and include christenings, marriages and births.

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.

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.

Some of these records are in Latin or French. For help with reading the records, see the following resources:

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

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

Marriage records usually contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the groom and bride
  • Names of witnesses

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 Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The parish where your ancestor lived.
  • The approximate dates of birth, marriage, or death.
  • The names of family members and their relationships.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
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.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search this collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse Images" on the initial search page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Town"
⇒Select the appropriate "Parish"
⇒Select the appropriate "Event Type," which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s church record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the age on the marriage records to calculate a birth year.
  • Use these parish registers to identify individuals, parents, spouses, event dates, places of residence, and possible relatives who may have served as witnesses.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Don't forget to try searching the collection by using spelling variations of names- especially with French and Latin names.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Nova Scotia Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905." Database with Images. FamilySearch. accessed 2016. Catholic Church parishes, Antigonish Diocese, Nova Scotia.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Nova Scotia, Antigonish Catholic Diocese 1823-1905.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.