County and Community Histories

Nova Scotia Archives

County and Community Histories

The Nova Scotia Archives has county histories for most counties in the province. The majority of these histories were written between 1866 and 1929, and some include brief genealogies. Additionally, there are many community histories in our holdings. Look at our library catalogue, especially the Genealogy/Reference Collection, to explore more possibilities for your family history research.

Also onsite at the Nova Scotia Archives is an extensive Communities Card Catalogue for research on specific towns, villages, etc., and including thousands of references to books, articles, newspaper sources, original records, etc. See Hours and Location to plan a visit.


W.A. Calnek, History of the County of Annapolis, 1897; reprinted 1972.
A.W. Savary, History of the County of Annapolis Supplement, 1913; reprinted 1973.


Rev. D.J. Rankin, A History of the County of Antigonish, Nova Scotia; 1929.

Cape Breton:

A county history is not available, but there are many community histories for Cape Breton Island.

Richard Brown, A history of the Island of Cape Breton; 1869, reprinted 1979.
Robert J. Morgan, Orphan Outpost: Cape Breton Colony 1784-1820; 1972.


Thomas Miller, Historical and Genealogical Records of the First Settlers of Colchester County; 1873, reprinted 1972.
Israel Longworth, Israel Longworth’s History of Colchester County; 1866, published 1989.


Pierce Stevens Hamilton, "History of the County of Cumberland"; unpublished history, 1880.


Isaiah W. Wilson, A geography and history of the County of Digby Nova Scotia; 1900, reprinted 1972


Harriet Cunningham Hart, History of the County of Guysborough; 1877, published 1975.
A.C. Jost, Guysborough Sketches and Essays; 1950.


A county history is not available, but there are many histories for Halifax, Dartmouth and other communities.

T.B. Akins, History of Halifax City; 1895, reprinted 1973 and 2001.
Mrs. William Lawson, History of the townships of Dartmouth, Preston and Lawrencetown; 1893, reprinted 1972.
J.P. Martin, The story of Dartmouth; 1957.


Gwendolyn V. Shand, Historic Hants County; 1979.
John V. Duncanson, Falmouth: A New England township in Nova Scotia; 1965.
John V. Duncanson, Newport, Nova Scotia: A Rhode Island Township; 1985.
John V. Duncanson, Rawdon and Douglas: Two Loyalist Townships in Nova Scotia; 1989.


J.L. MacDougall, History of Inverness County Nova Scotia; 1922, reprinted 1972.


Arthur W.H. Eaton, The History of Kings County Nova Scotia; 1910; reprinted 1972.


Mather Byles DesBrisay, History of the County of Lunenburg; 1895, reprinted 1967.


Rev. George Patterson, A History of the Country of Pictou Nova Scotia; 1877, reprinted 1972.


James F. More, The History of Queens County; N.S., 1873, reprinted 1972.


No county history, but see section on Cape Breton Island.


Edwin Crowell, A history of Barrington township and vicinity, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia; 1604-1870, 1923.
Marion Robertson, King’s Bounty: a history of early Shelburne; N.S. founded in 1783, 1983.


G.G. Patterson, Patterson’s History of Victoria County, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; 1885, edited by W. James MacDonald, 1978.


Rev. J.R. Campbell, A History of the County of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; 1876, reprinted 1972.
George S. Brown, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia: A Sequel to Campbell’s History; 1888.

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