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Archival Resources

Birth certificates, marriage certificates, ships’ passenger lists, petitions, deeds, newspaper stories, community history books, obituaries, death certificates... With resources such as these, genealogists can piece together a substantial portion of their family histories. Genealogists researching family history in Prince Edward Island are fortunate to have many such resources at their disposal.

Public Archives and Record Office
The Public Archives and Record Office is located in the Coles Building on Richmond Street in Charlottetown and has the most extensive records available on a province-wide level. It is considered to be the most important genealogical resource centre on Prince Edward Island. Its holdings include:

  • Birth records
  • Baptismal records
  • Newspapers
  • Legislation documents
  • Land records on microfilm
  • Pictures
  • Registers such as invoice books and store ledgers
  • Petitions to Government
  • Marriage records
  • Death certificates
  • Census lists
  • Church records
  • Cemetery records
  • Court records
  • Obituaries
  • Master Name Index

Land Registry Office
The history of Island people is the history of the land. The Land Registry office, located in Summerside, is a source of genealogical details that are available nowhere else. Its holdings include land deeds from 1763 to 1873 on microfilm and post-1873 deeds in book form. The land registry also has Crown grants, leases, mortgages, tax records, and an index to Prince Edward Island wills and administrations. Copies of post-1930 wills and post-1967 administrations are also archived. To further aid in genealogical research, detailed maps dating from 1763 indicate ownership of lots and townships and there are ownership atlases for 1880, 1928, and 1968.

Prince Edward Island Vital Statistics
The Prince Edward Island Vital Statistics Division of Health and Community Services, located in Montague, has an index of baptisms from 1886–1905, official birth, marriage, and death certificates from 1906 to the present. Their archives are not open to the public, but records can be checked and certificates issued to direct descendants for a fee.

Prince Edward Island Supreme Court
The Estates Division of the Prince Edward Island Supreme Court has wills and administrations from the 1800s until the present.

Several museums across Prince Edward Island include genealogical resources among their holdings. The Dalton Centre in Tignish has information pertaining to the Acadian families of the Tignish area. Its holdings include census, church, and cemetery records, old newspapers, and family files. The Alberton Museum contains genealogical indexes, newspaper clippings, and compiled genealogies for West Prince. The Acadian Resource Centre at the Acadian Museum in Miscouche offers researchers access to 30,000 genealogical cards relevant to Acadian heritage. The Eptek National Exhibition Centre in Summerside has a small genealogical library. The Eptek Centre’s microfilm holdings include a Master Name Index, census records, church records, and newspaper clippings specific to Summerside families.

Other Genealogical Resources
In addition to the resources presented below, researchers may refer themselves to the Prince Edward Island Genealogical Society (PEIGS) which provides a forum for exchanging genealogical information. The PEIGS has published accounts of the arrival of Irish, Scottish, and English settlers and has transcripts from cemeteries from across the Island. Web surfers can consult the PEIGS website which offers an 1891 Census index. The Prince Edward Island Government web-site also provides online censuses for 1768, 1798, and 1848 as well as several community and business directories from the 1800s and early 1900s.

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