This project is an ambitious attempt to catalogue the many families that have lived in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia over the years. It is definitely a loooonnnggggg-term project, and will be continuously updated over (I suspect) many years.
I approach the project from a different direction than most personal genealogical research; no particular family or person is the target. Instead, I try to gather various bits of information from different (very specific) sources and create linked family trees, one for each family. The sources are church and census records, etc. where I have gone through these records from start to finish. I attempt to link people in the newest entries that I encounter with people who may already be in the database. A new family is created if no previous links can be found. In this way, a database of previously deduced relationships can be matched with new data, and connections that may have never been made can now be completed. It's essentially the brute-force method of research. It's not particularly elegant, and it is quite time consuming, but in the end (if ever reached), I hope this to be an extremely useful database which any researcher with access to the web can use to their heart's content.
BEFORE YOU USE THIS SITE
It is only early days of yet! Right now this website only contains records from St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church of Port Felix, Guysborough Co., Nova Scotia, specifically baptismal and marriage records from 1854 to 1863. The stack just for this church alone is huge, and in just this short period of time I have compiled a list of over 1200 individuals. Many more will be added, I'm sure. This will take time, so be patient!
Be Careful! The records I am working with are somebody's handwritten transcription from the original records. Aside from any mistakes/misconceptions that existed in the originals, that's two extra potential sources of error; the initial transcription, and any errors/misinterpretations I've made.
When transcribing these records, I try to make as few assumptions as possible. Therefore, there is a high probability that any one person may appear more than once in the database. For example a "Joseph Pelrine" married to a "Mary" will be treated differently than a "Joseph Pelrine" married to a "Mrs. Pelrine". However, there is the possibility of getting families confused, particularly if two families have similar names for the principles. Translation: don't take anything in these records as gospel; make sure you confirm the facts with other sources, and don't be surprised if they don't match!!
I've tried to preserve the name spellings (mistakes and all) that appear in the original text; I'll let you make the decision as to whether a particular entry is the individual for which you are searching, despite the (potentially very mangled) spellings that sometimes exist in these records. Note that in different records I may encounter different spellings for the same person. In certain cases, this may be indicated in the records, particularly for last names (e.g. AVERY/AVORY).
For all the current entries, unless otherwise noted, the marriages and baptisms took place in Port Felix. One weird quirk: sponsors for baptisms appear in the "Place" spot for baptisms. It was the most convenient place to put this data. The celebrant (i.e. priest) for any baptism unless otherwise noted is Rev. James Drummond. This information also appears in the ``place'' data slot.
References: for the first records I added, I missed some of the references for various events. If you need a reference for a particular event, drop me a note; these things don't take long to look up. The references themselves are in the form "marriage - 34-2" which means the information came from a marriage record, page 34 of the records, entry 2." Some early entries that I made may not follow this convention, but I'll try to fix these as much as possible in the future. A reference in the form ``'' (a number in square brackets) means that this person also appears in my own personal family tree. For these in particular you may wish to contact me or visit the web site maintained by my sister, Rose Casey as obviously there's a good chance we'll have more data on these people than others. Some basic supplementary information (maiden names for example) that were not necessarily evident from the transcribed records may appear on these pages from our own data simply to help reduce confusion and duplication.
Feel free to contact me about anything you should come across in these pages! See more in update history below.
February 25, 2000
Friday, February 25, 2000
Now cleared 1500 individuals. I am now cross-referencing with the 1871 Guysborough County Census, Molasses Harbour district, which has allowed a number of duplicate people/families to be merged. I also plan to cross-reference the Cape Canso and Crow Harbour regions (which the Port Felix records also seem to cover) in the near future. A reference of the form "census-1871-202-d-071-069" would mean 1871 Census, section 202, district d (Molasses Harbour), dwelling 071, family 69. This means you should be able to look that entry up in the census, and at least partially match the family which you are viewing. Also some death records have been/will be added, and have references of the form "death-PANS-16522-23-22", which means death records from Public Archives of Nova Scotia (PANS) reel 16522, page 23, entry 22.
Wednesday, April 12, 2000
Wow, it's been this long since an update? Anyway, now just shy of 1800 individuals. Baptisms now reach into mid-1868. Marriages to 1871. Crow Harbour (district b) and Cape Canso (district c) sections of the 1871 Census have now been cross-referenced. This has resulted in a number of merges. I also did a quick scan of the other districts and found a few more stray families. These have also been noted. Note a slight format change: birth dates (if known) are now listed next to childrens' names on their parents' pages.
Wednesday, May 24, 2000
Now just shy of 1900 individuals. I've been a bit busy this last month, so not too much more has been added. However, a few more merges have taken place and all information up to the time of the 1871 census (about March/April 1871) has now been entered, with the possible exception of one or two baptismal records I haven't got to yet.
Thursday, July 13, 2000
We've reached the 2000 mark (2030 actually)! Now includes marriages to the end of 1873 and baptisms to the end of 1872. I've also made an improvement in the format; children now have marriages, spouses, and marriage dates (if appropriate) listed with them on their parents' page for easier navigation.
Thursday, November 16, 2000
Just under the 2500 mark! Now includes marriages and baptisms to the end of 1879. Also include a handful of burial records, although more of those will come in the future.
Sunday, February 18, 2001
2635 individuals now in the database! Includes baptism and marriages into 1886. Note there is a gap in the records between 1879 and 1884. Anything ceremony taking place in this time period will not show up in the records.
Monday, June 11, 2001
2808 individuals now in the database! Includes baptisms and burials to the end of 1886, plus marriages to the end of 1887. More supplementary death records from PANS have also been added where they help to clarify things.
Sunday, October 14, 2001
1) Just cleared 3000 individuals!
2) The transcription of the Port Felix church records in my possession is now complete - this means all types of records up to mid to late 1889 (which is where the records in my possession end) have been entered in the the database.
Two format changes:
1) The "names" sidebar now lists the number of entries which appear under any given name surname.
2) A fully-navigatable list of known ancestors and known descendants is provided on every individual's page, if appropriate. This means you can now navigate multiple generations via a single link.
Wednesday, March 6, 2002
Have added many PANS marriage records which has significantly increased the number of non-catholic people in the database. Current count is 3425 people.
Wednesday, July 3, 2002
Many more non-Catholic families added to the database from PANS records and Canso-Methodist-Circuit baptismal records (indicated by baptisms-CMC). Current count is 3838 individuals.
Sunday, January 12, 2003
The database has been cross-referenced to the 1881 Census of Guysborough County. Also added (amoung other things) more PANS marriages and Canso-Methodist-Circuit baptismal records. Current count is 4445 individuals.
January 24, 2004
First update in just over a year. Not as much time to devote to the
database over the past year, however the database now contains 4691
individuals. It is slowly expanding into the surrounding areas of the
county (such as New Harbour), and the 1881 Canadian census online at
http://www.familysearch.org has helped tremendously in locating the whereabouts of new additions to
June 6, 2004
It's been a while. Now lists over 5000 individuals. 5072 to be exact. Updates should be more frequent with the new computer system in place; updates were extremely tedious with the old system.