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Reply by Rhonda McClure, NEHGS Genealogist
There are few vital records for Nova Scotia for the time in question for Nova Scotia. Births and deaths were not kept as this time, but there are some marriages. In 1812 a marriage could be contracted by either banns (being read in the church several times) or by license. An incomplete collection of the licenses and bonds (which were designed to protect women from breach of promise of matrimony according to Genealogist’s Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research edited by Terrence M. Punch and George F. Sanborn) are available through the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management http://www.novascotia.ca/nsarm/ . It is likely though that you will need to turn your attention to church records. In order to use church records you will need to know more than just the Province of Nova Scotia. First you will need to identify the town in Nova Scotia where Robert Butler and Mary Eldridge were married. Then you would need to know the denomination of religion for the couple. The religions with records in Nova Scotia for the time in question include: Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Congregationalist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and United. Many of the church records are available on microfilm, and you will want to check the FamilySearch.org web site as they have many church records now online in a “browse images” format. This means that the images are not indexed and searchable by name, but can be viewed online and gone through page by page, such as with a traditional microfilm on a machine. You can see the data sets available at FamilySearch.org for Nova Scotia at this link https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=1929953 .