Cain families from prince edward island - who has information?

+6 votes
I'm researching the Cain / Kane families from Prince Edward Island. There is one John Cain, probably born around 1790 in Ireland and a David Cain, born around 1796 in Newfoundland. While David came to PEI via Newfoundland, John drowned there. I guess that they were brothers and that Johns widow and children followed David to PEI. While david can be found in the 1881 census of PEI, there is no records to be found,just family lore passed on by his granddaughter.

I found some Fred Cain who posted sth. about david and his wife sarah in a rootweb forum, but there seems to be no way to get into contact with him. It seems that he perhaps has different indormation from family members that talk about more brothers that scattered around NS, NF, PEI etc. The descendends of David cain seemed to emigrate to Main, while the descendands of John went to Mass.

I would be glad if somebody has more information abiut the pre 1800 history of this family.

Kind regards

in Genealogy Help by Andre Cain G2G1 (1.7k points)

1 Answer

+6 votes
There are some Cain families mentioned in the Public Archives of PEI (

There are also some on the PEI Genealogical Society website (
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (557k points)

Dear Doug,

Thank you very much for your help.

I've already searched through all the archives for records, so there isn't anything left, at least online.

BUT: I never thought of searching in the other categories and I've found two Court records in which I'm interested.

I don't know how to obtain the records. Are they online somewhere?

I would be glad if someone could help me there..

The first one could be the David Cain I'm searching for 

Media Type Textual item 
Item Number RG6.1/s5/ss1/5573 
Host Collection Supreme Court fonds, Series 5: Case files, Subseries 1: Case files 1770-1899 
Caption R. Yates vs D. Cain 
Date (original) 1825 

R. Yates


D. Cain

The other one is the son of John Cain (1790). According to family lore he left Newfoundland after his father drowned and went to PEI with his mother, who married again a man with the name "White".

Media Type Textual item 
Item Number RG6.1/s5/ss1/15006 
Host Collection Supreme Court fonds, Series 5: Case files, Subseries 1: Case files 1770-1899 
Caption E. Gavin vs J. White & J. Cain 
Date (original) 1858 

E. Gavin


J. White

J. Cain

@page { margin: 2cm } p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120% }

Hi Andre, I have a few thoughts that may (or may not) be useful:

First, have you tried the PEI university archives? They have newspaper and other records that I've found useful:

Second, I wonder about church archives. Depending on the religion of your branch of Cains, there may be records elsewhere. For example, I found useful information about one of my PEI Bradshaw ancestors in the Baptist Archives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Third, I have also found useful information about PEI ancestors in the NB and NS archives. There was a lot of back and forth among the early maritime families.

Last thought, if you scroll down on the two PARO pages that you found referring to the PEI Supreme court, there is a line at the very bottom that says "Contact Us to inquire about getting a copy of this record." I have not yet tried to use that link, but I've always wondered what would happen ...

Let me know if its interesting!

Hi Laurie,

thank you very much for your hints.

I've already extensively searched through archives you've named. I've found nothing in NB and NS in the timeframe I'd need. The early PEI censi are not very informativ as they contain no vital information and just name the head of the family. My goal is to find the place from where the cains origin in Ireland. I think censi are no help there. I'm hoping that perhaps in court files there is more information. I tried to look for passenger lists etc. but also there is nothing that I could find.

Church archives would be great, but I've got no chance to go to PEI or NF, so I've got to rely on online records and indexes that allow me to order the records. I've got no clue how to find the correct church archives as I'm not totaly sure about the religion or even the place they lived in NF. It seems that a part of the family is catholic, another part is canadian presb., but I guess they perhaps where catholic in the first place. 

I tried to use the "contact us..." link but it just leads to a site with a flood of information not related to the archives at all... but I found the adress elsewhere. ( ) I already wrote them, but still waiting for an answer.

I would be very interested in your experience with church archives as I realy have no clue about how to use them or obtain records there. 

kind regards

(link sends e-mai


Obtaining records from the PEI Archives is pretty simple. There is a contact email under "General Inquiries" in the right column of the page the link I gave goes to. You send them an email with the information on the item and ask what it will cost to obtain copies. They have a fee per page but also a minimum but I don't remember what it is. They don't do electronic copies yet. They can be quite helpful. You might ask if there is a Cain file that has not been put into the database. I hope this helps.
Thank you, Doug! I found the mail adress you mentioned and sent a copy of my first mail to it. I hope one of the addresses will work..



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