SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Early vital records of Nova Scotia, Canada, are viewable over the Internet for the first time and for free, thanks to a joint project by the Genealogical Society of Utah, FamilySearch™, and the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (NSARM).
The records include one million names found in birth records from 1864 to 1877, marriages from 1864 to 1930, and death records from 1864 to 1877 and 1908 to 1955. Users can search the database at www.novascotiagenealogy.com.
Nova Scotia is the first province in Canada to digitize all of its historical vital statistics and make them available online. “This project provides key information to researchers on their ancestors,” said Genealogical Society of Utah regional manager Alain Allard. “It involves the vital records — births, marriages, and deaths — which are a key record set to find, identify, and link ancestors into family units.”
The Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) first microfilmed most of Nova Scotia’s vital records back in the 1980s. In 2005, GSU used FamilySearch Scanning to convert those microfilms to digital images, while at the same time capturing additional vital records with a specially designed digital camera. Volunteers for the Nova Scotia Archives then used the images to create the searchable electronic index, which was completed in 2006.
Anyone can now search names in the index and view a high quality digital copy of the original image online for free at NSARM’s Web site, www.novascotiagenealogy.com. In the near future, the index and images will also be available on FamilySearch.org. Researchers who want to obtain an official copy of a record can do so online through the Nova Scotia Archives. The cost will be CAN$9.95 for an electronic file and CAN$19.95, plus shipping and taxes, for paper copies.
Nova Scotia Provincial Archivist, W. Brian Speirs, said the cooperation of GSU was crucial to this important project. “Without the Genealogical Society of Utah offering in the early days of the project to provide complimentary digitization of all the records as their contribution to the initiative, the proposed undertaking would have been dead in the water and gone nowhere,” Speirs said.
FamilySearch is the public channel of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU), a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and more than 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.