Prince Edward Island Church Records
Church records are extremely important genealogical sources. The Public Archives and Records Office holds microfilm copies of the records of many of the churches on the island, including most of the Catholic records before 1891. Baptism records since 1886 are sealed. Records before 1886 are available. The National Archives of Canada also has the early French Catholic records of Notre-Dame (1724–1758) and St-Pierre (1721–1724, 1749–1758) in St-Pierre-du-Nord. A complete list of the churches is found in:
- Baxter, Angus. In Search of Your Canadian Roots. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989. p. 280. (Family History Library book 971 D27ba.) The Family History Library has several of the National Archives records on film:
- Prince Edward Island Division of Vital Statistics. Prince Edward Island Card Index to Baptisms Prior to 1886. Charlottetown, P.E.I.: Filmed by the Public Archives of Prince Edward Island, 1983. (On 19 Family History Library films beginning with 1487750.) The index cards are roughly in alphabetical order by surname. This index is available online at www.gov.pe.ca/cca/baptismal. It includes records from the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Free Church of Scotland, United Church and Methodist churches. The earliest records begin in 1777 and include entries to 1886. Records from 1886-1923 are currently being entered.
- Church of Scotland (Prince Edward Island). Church Records, 1853–1926. Charlottetown, P.E.I.: Filmed by the Public Archives of Prince Edward Island, 1978. (Family History Library film 1630116 items 2–11.) These are microfilm copies of original records at the Provincial Archives of Prince Edward Island.
- Eglise Catholique. Paroisse de l'Ile-St-Jean. Registres Paroissiaux, 1721–1758. Salt Lake City: Filmé par la Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974. (Family History Library film 959787 item 2.) These are microfilms of the parish registers of baptisms, marriages, burials for Ile-St-Jean. They were microfilmed from the originals records in the Archives Nationales, Section Outre-Mer, Paris.
- THE DROUIN COLLECTION:
Drouin Collection 1621-1967 at Ancestry.ca. When searching these databases, be creative in the spellings as well as the various focuses in searching for an ancestor. The French language has many possible spellings for a name, as well as there are errors in the indexing.
This French-Canadian collection has over 15 million genealogical and vital records entries; they were microfilmed by the Institut Généalogique Drouin. In Quebec, under the French Regime, there were two sets of records kept: a copy for the civil government archives and a copy for the ecclesiastical church archives. The Drouin collection is a civil copy of these entries. Please note that the cutoff date of this collection is in the early 1940s; only a small percentage of entries were covered from 1948 to 1967.
This collection is divided into six databases: 1. Quebec Vital and Church Records, 1621-1967 2. Ontario French Catholic Church Records, 1747-1967, 3. Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954, 4. Acadia French Catholic Church Records, 1670-1946, 5. Quebec Notarial Records, 1647-1942, and 6. Miscellaneous French Records, 1651-1941. For details about these six databases, see "The Drouin Collection: Six Databases" at The Drouin Collection: Six databases.
Acadia French Catholic Church Records, 1670-1946: This database only contains the French Catholic parish records from the old Acadia. In the 1600s and early 1700s, Acadia covered today's provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, as well as Prince Edward Island and part of Quebec (i.e. the Gaspé Peninsula). The types of records include baptisms, marriages, and burials as well as confirmations, dispensations, censuses, statements of readmission to the church, and so on. They are written mainly in French, as well as English, Latin, and Italian.
A current list of island churches is at http://www.islandregister.com/churches.html