Prince Edward Island, first called Île Saint-Jean, has been inhabited by the Mi'kmaq for nearly 2,000 years. The French settled here in the 1720s.
In 1748, there was a population of 700 which rose very quickly to 5,000 when the Acadians were expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755.
Three years later, in 1758, the British expelled most of the Acadian population.
The land was given to former British soldiers in 1767, and the island became an independent colony in 1769.
Thereafter, the population grew rapidly, reaching 62,000 in 1850 as a result of a wave of immigration from the British Isles. The name "Prince Edward Island" was adopted in 1799. The island became a Canadian province in 1873.
Researchers interested in ancestors who lived in Prince Edward Island use the main types of genealogical sources.
Master Name Index
Prince Edward Island Genealogical Society
Prince Edward Island Archival Information Network
Public Archives and Records Office
[www.edu.pe.ca/paro/]. The guides called Tracing Your Family History, Historic Buildings [www.edu.pe.ca/paro/census/default.asp] and Community History: Getting Started with Your Genealogical Research [www.edu.pe.ca/paro/research/default.asp] provide further information about how to do genealogical research on Prince Edward Island.
The official provincial government Web site
[www.gov.pe.ca/] contains useful information about the province and its historic records.
The Canadian Encyclopedia Online
[www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=HomePage&Params=A1] allows you to learn more about the history, geography and people of Prince Edward Island.
Many libraries hold reference books, local histories, family histories and other books on genealogy. Library and Archives Canada allows you to Browse Lists of Canadian Library Web Sites and Catalogues by province.
The sections on What to Search: Topics and Genealogy Links of this site can provide more useful information about how to do genealogical research in Prince Edward Island. You can also access databases from our Directory of Canadian Genealogical Resources - AVITUS.
You can also consult the following books:
Genealogist's Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research, edited by Terrence M. Punch with the help of George F. Sanborn, 1997. Family history in Prince Edward Island: a genealogical research guide, by Orlo Jones, 1981.