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Halifax County Genealogical Sources

The HRM Archives contains many records from Halifax County that are useful for family history research. Click on the blue series link to view 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/families. Files are arranged by district.  Account papers, forms, and notices, 1882-[194-?] 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 & Mental Hospital records (series 312-64)
The Poor Farm 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, mental patients, 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 record the names of inmates, to which district they belong, and their dates of admittance or discharge. Files are arranged chronologically.

Nova Scotia Hospital account correspondence 1919-1955 (312-61-2): Contains incoming and outgoing correspondence related to the reconciliation of hospital accounts. Includes affidavits used to determine settlement which provide detailed histories of patients. Files are arranged chronologically.

Financial records (series 312-75)
[Welfare] Account ledgers
[ca. 1896] - [ca. 1957] (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 Archives' database for a list of ledgers in the sub-series.

Committee on Insane records (series 312-65)
The Committee on Insane reviewed accounts related to the care of the municipality's "insane paupers". Records with information on individuals:
• 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 which were 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 c.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 that contain a range of information including name, crime, dates of committal and discharge, their length of stay, and sometimes additional remarks concerning 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 jails' 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 (series 312-74)
Correspondence [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 roles list the school taxes owed by individual ratepayers. School section correspondence is arranged alphabetically by school section name.
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 sub-divided 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 alphabetically by district.

Tax Collectors Rolls, 1936-1939 (series 312-83)
The tax collectors rolls have the names of those who owed taxes, and the amount paid, for various districts in Halifax County. Names are in alphabetical order (some incomplete records).

Directory of Households, 1944 (CR43.16)                                                     The directory lists all householders receiving mail at rural post-offices, their names, occupations and if French-speaking; it 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 on other listings like propety assessment rolls, census.

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.