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Genealogical Research

The Public Archives and Records Office houses a large collection of genealogical materials comprised of primary source documents and complementary finding aids and indexes. The latter are designed to save researchers of Island families many hours of searching through newspapers, church and civil records. As secondary sources are subject to transcription error these references should always be checked against original records for the purposes of documentation. Many of these original records, or microform copies thereof, are also available for consultation.

You of course are the best person to trace your family's history based on the knowledge you already possess about it. Once you have gathered all the available names, relationships, dates, and locations from family sources and have organized the information in a logical fashion with a clear indication of what you wish to know you are ready to begin a search through our finding aids and records.

Your first avenue of approach, particularly if you have not done previous research at the Archives, may well be through the major finding aid:

The Master Name Index

The index is comprised of catalog cards filed alphabetically by family name. Within each given name, cards are arranged in chronological sequence. Cemetery transcripts are filed at the beginning of each surname in lot order. The entries have been compiled from census records, extant passenger lists, marriage registers, selected newspapers, Meacham's Atlas, funeral home registers, and some of the other original sources which follow.

Census Records
Births, Marriages, Deaths
Land Records and Maps prior to 1900
Court Records
Secondary Sources of Information
Sending Reference Inquiries

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