Nova Scotia Archives

Township Records

Township Records

Surviving early township records from the colonial period in Nova Scotia provide a rich and significant accumulation of community-based 'official' records. A central feature of New England township government, and a tradition brought to Nova Scotia in the 1760s, record-keeping was embodied in the 'township book' or master volume, which was used to keep the minutes of town meetings, and served as the official register for vital statistics, town proprietors, property lots, cattle marks, and other land-related records.

By the mid-nineteenth century, many of these records had diminished in importance, or were superseded by record-keeping systems that were centrally administered by the provincial government.

Township Records at the Nova Scotia Archives, is available on this website; it is a searchable database that provides concise information about the contents of 35 township books or record collections, each township being one of a series of early communities established by the colonial government and scattered across mainland Nova Scotia.

The township books themselves, and their contents, are available at the Nova Scotia Archives. See Hours and Location to plan a visit.