Halifax County Genealogical Sources

The Halifax Municipal Archives contains many records from Halifax County that are useful for family history research. Links below are to fuller descriptions of these records in the Archives Database.

Overseers of the Poor records

Series 312-63: The Overseers of the Poor reported on the number, condition, and cost of support for the poor. Affidavits from the overseer to the clerk/treasurer (1835, 1910-1950) provide detailed personal histories used to determine the settlement of individuals or families. Files are arranged by district and list account papers, forms, and notices from 1882-1940s. Admission papers to the Poor's Farm and reports of the Overseers of the Poor provide personal information about the poor in each district. Files are arranged chronologically.

Poor Farm, Halifax County Home and Mental Hospital records

Series 312-64: The Poor Farm was opened as a workhouse for the poor ca. 1897. Later known as the County Home, the facility also came to house senior citizens, orphaned children, persons with mental disabilities or mental health issues, and medical patients. The series includes the following types of materials of interest to genealogists:

  • Employee Payroll records, 1954-1955 (312-64-2): Names of Halifax County Hospital employees arranged in alphabetical order.

  • Returns, 1903-1929 (312-64-4): Returns were created by the superintendent and list the names of inmates, their districts, and their dates of admittance or discharge. Files are arranged chronologically.

Nova Scotia Hospital account correspondence, 1919-1955

Sub-series 312-61-2: Contains incoming and outgoing correspondence related to the reconciliation of hospital accounts. It includes affidavits used to determine settlement, which provide detailed histories of patients. Files are arranged chronologically.

Welfare account ledgers, 1876-1957

Sub-series 312-75-2: Some ledgers contain the names of individuals receiving municipal welfare support, including those in the county and city homes, the Nova Scotia Hospital, the Nova Scotia Sanitarium, and under the Child Protection Act. See the Municipal Archives' database for a list of ledgers in the sub-series.

Committee on Insane records

The Committee on Insane reviewed accounts related to the care of the municipality's "insane paupers." The records contain information on individuals as follows:

  • Ledger and insane pauper list, 1859-1909 (312-65-1): Provides the names of "insane paupers" in the county, including those committed to the Nova Scotia Hospital for the Insane.

  • Examinations and other materials, 1879-1909 (312-65-2): Includes examination papers and some correspondence containing personal information used to determine settlement. Files are arranged chronologically.

County Jail records

Series 312-67: The County Jail held women and men awaiting trial and serving sentences.

  • Committal and discharge books for debtors, ca. 1882-1929 (312-67-1): Ledgers record debtors committed and discharged from the jail and include the plaintiffs and defendants in the case, amount owing, dates of committal and discharge, length of stay, and sometimes additional remarks concerning the inmate.

  • Committal and discharge books for criminals, 1885-1967 (312-67-2): Ledgers record criminals committed and discharged from the County Jail and contain a range of information including name, crime, dates of committal and discharge, length of stay, and occasionally additional remarks about the inmate. Ledgers are missing for the years 1921-1928 and 1955-1960.

  • Jail physician visitation books, 1924-1944, 1961-1967 (312-67-4): Books consist of visitation notes made by the jail’s physician. The books can be used to research whether individuals were seen by the physician, as well as the nature of their illness and its treatment.

Municipal School Board records

  • Correspondence, 1883-1891, 1942-1956 (312-74-2): Some school section correspondence includes teacher contracts (ca. 1950s) and assessment rolls (ca. 1949-1951). Contracts include the names of teachers and where they taught, while assessment rolls list the school taxes owed by individual ratepayers. School section correspondence is arranged by school section name and then alphabetically by correspondent.

  • Teacher Contracts and related materials, 1942-1954 (312-74-3): Contracts include the names of teachers, the name of the school section where they taught, the school section number, and in most cases, information about their pay and bonuses. Files are arranged in chronological order. Some years have been subdivided according to school district.

  • Resignations and related materials, 1944-1954 (312-74-4): Sub-series consists of letters of resignation from teachers and principals.

Election records, 1914, 1943, 1949, 1952, 1955

312-61-5: Contains lists of the qualified voters in each polling district. Lists are arranged by district and then alphabetically by voter's name.

Property Assessment rolls, 1835-1978

Series 312-86A: Property Assessment records for property, school, and poll taxes can give a sense of the location and economic level of individuals.

Tax collector’s rolls, 1935-1941

Series 312-83: Tax collector’s rolls include names of those who owed taxes and the amount paid for various districts in Halifax County. Names are in alphabetical order (some of the records are incomplete).

School Section Tax Collector's rolls, 1936-1941

312-83-2: Rolls give the person's name, total valuation and amount of tax, tax rate as well as the name of the school trustees and collector. Arranged by school district (Halifax East, Halifax West, Halifax Rural), and then alphabetically by property owner's name.

Tax arrears collection records, 1925-1939

312-83-4: lists recording those owing for dog, poll, county and poor taxes. Lists give the name of taxpayer, the amount of taxes owing for each year separately. Some entries are annotated (e.g., left district, unemployed, or lists new address).

Directory of Householders, 1944

CR43.16: The directory lists all householders receiving mail at rural post offices, including their name, occupation, and if they were French-speaking. Directory covers the entire county and rural delivery routes for Bedford and Dartmouth. People who weren't property owners or permanent residents would be captured in this directory, but not in other listings like property assessment rolls or the census.

Statute Labour Returns and Road Returns, 1880-1908

312-72: These records, kept by the County Committee on Roads and Bridges, list the names of residents who either worked on local roads or paid their road taxes. These records are arranged by Road District number, so you’ll need to know approximately where your ancestors lived. The 1908 Road Returns have been scanned.

Compilation of these sources was done as part of a National Archival Development Project funded by the Government of Canada through Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.

Halifax County Municipality employee index, 1990 and 1994

320.85 H3: Lists of County Councillors and municipal employees, giving their name, title, and a brief description of their role and responsibilities. Organized by department.

There is also an HRM employee telephone directory for 1999 (352.1502 .H).