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Created in 1784 when provision was made by statute 24, Geo. III, Cap. V, for electing
representatives from it to the House of Assembly.  Early in 1823 a dividing line between
the upper and lower districts of Sydney county was run and chopped out.  In 1836
Sydney County was diminished in size when the lower district became Guysborough
County.  The upper district of what had formerly been the county now became Sydney
County by statute, 6 William IV, Cap. LXXIX and it consisted of four townships,
Arisaig, Dorchester, st. Andrew's and Tracadie.  In 1863 the name of Sydney County
was changed to Antigonish County by statute, 26 Victoria, Cap. XXXVII.

Named after Thomas Townshend (1733 - 1800), first Viscount Sydney, English
statesman who was Home Secretary in the British cabinet when the county was named.