The images and index to this collection are provided by Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Online, which are subject to its own Terms and Conditions of use. You must accept these additional Terms and Conditions (shown below) in order to proceed with a search. To indicate your acceptance, click the “I agree” button below. The search template will then appear, allowing you to search the index. When you find a record, you may click to view the image on the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Online web site, which will be subject to its own terms and conditions of use. (Note: The Terms and Conditions below apply only to the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics and are in addition to the terms and conditions of this [Ancestry] website.)

Source Information

Ancestry.com. Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1836-1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data:
  • Vital Statistics Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, compiler. "Birth Registrations: 1864-1877." Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/Births.aspx, 2010.
  • Vital Statistics Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, compiler. "Delayed Birth Registrations: 1836-1907." Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/Births.aspx, 2010.
  • Vital Statistics Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, compiler. "Birth Registrations: 1836-1907, 1908-1910." Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management https://www.novascotiagenealogy.com/Births.aspx, 2010.

About Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1836-1910

Historical Background:

Permanent European settlement in Nova Scotia began with the French in 1604. The area would alternate between British and French control into the next century, and war and politics would play a significant role in determining the eventual demographics of the province. Scottish settlers began arriving as early as 1621 and would become the dominant ethnic group in a province they would eventually share with the English, Irish, German, First Nations, Acadian French, African Nova Scotian, and others.

About the Records

Nova Scotia, Canada, Births, 1864-1877

Nova Scotia began civil registration for births in 1864, but registration lapsed after 1877, and records compiled during the period are incomplete. Registration resumed 1 October 1908, and the province has maintained records consistently since then.

Delayed Birth Registrations, 1836–1910

A unique aspect of Nova Scotia birth records are some 95,000 delayed birth registrations. For several years after 1908, the Vital Statistics Office allowed people born in Nova Scotia before 1908 to have births or deaths officially recorded. This might be done simply to establish an official record or when proof of birth was needed to apply for documents and benefits such as passports and pensions.

The earliest delayed registrations go back to births in 1836. They use the same form and record the same information as other birth registrations, but the files can also contain up to four additional supporting documents, which might come from family, census, or church records. Delayed registrations were voluntary, so they make up an incomplete record.

Birth records in this database may contain:

  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Gender
  • Birth Place
  • Year of registration
  • Registration book and number

Additional information about the parents may be found on the images themselves. This can include names, birthplace, and place and date of marriage (1864–1877 only). The delayed registrations may include unique additional information.

Use Agreement

This database connects users to images of records provided by Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (NSARM). Before using this database, you will be asked to comply with the Terms and Conditions of Access to and Use of the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Online Service. This will be effective for the duration of your browser session. After accepting the Terms and Conditions, you can search the database and view records; clicking to view an image will open the page on NSARM’s website with the corresponding image. Results from this database will not appear in a global Ancestry.com search; this database must be accessed and searched separately.