I tried to find the municipal government page for Sydney to see if it had a town clerk, who might have the oldest records for Sydney. I wanted to see if the local government had kept records longer than the province.
The Canadians have reorganized the whole Sydney area. It is now part of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. It's official name seems to be Town of Sydney, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Municipality has Citizen Service Centers in the various towns where people can pay traffic tickets, get building permits, pay water bills, etc. I couldn't find anything in the clerks office (click on government at the top of the page) that indicated that they had old records. Here is the home page for the Municipality. http://www.cbrm.ns.ca/
I don't know if the 1856 date I found for the establishment of the parish in North Sydney/Lavendar Bay area was the one for the current parish that is there or if there was another older parish there that no longer exists. I came across a list of churches that were on Cape Breton, and there were a couple of them that could have served your family. When a church gets closed or demolished, its records get transferred to another parish, usually close by, or to the archdiocese's archives. I'll try to find that list again.
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