Ancestry Canada
CanGenealogy Canadian Genealogy Alberta
Alberta is one of three Prairie provinces, and has a population of about three million people. Until 1905 it was part of the Northwest Territories. Its major cities are Calgary and Edmonton.

See also Alberta newspapers | Alberta directories

Census records in Alberta

1881: Library and Archives Canada | FamilySearch | FindMyPast | MyHeritage

1891: Library and Archives Canada | FamilySearch | FindMyPast | MyHeritage

1901: Library and Archives Canada | FamilySearch
Automated Genealogy | | FindMyPast | MyHeritage

1906: Library and Archives Canada | FamilySearch
Automated Genealogy | | MyHeritage

1911: Library and Archives Canada | FamilySearch
Automated Genealogy | | FindMyPast | MyHeritage

1916: Library and Archives Canada | Family Search | | MyHeritage

1921: Library and Archives Canada | | MyHeritage

1926: Library and Archives Canada | FamilySearch | Images

1931: Library and Archives Canada | Ancestry

Birth, marriage and death records

To search the indexes on the Provincial Archives site, note the way the surnames have been indexed: By first letter and then by the next vowel, so (in theory at least) Smith would be under Si, and Schwartz would be under Sa, and so on.

Births: Provincial Archives 1870-1902 | Ancestry 1870-1898
Marriages: Provincial Archives 1870-1947 | Ancestry 1898-1944
Deaths: Provincial Archives 1870-1972 | Ancestry 1870-1968

Births, marriages, deaths: Ancestry - 1889-2012

Cemeteries: Calgary, including Burnsland, Chinese, Queen's Park, St. Mary's, and Union
Southern Alberta - Ancestry | Southern Alberta - AFHS | Edmonton
Medicine Hat | Grande Prairie | Prairie Souls | Southeast Alberta | Old Banff

Obituaries: Northwestern Alberta 1914-2014
Lethbridge area 1885-1959 | Lethbridge area 1960-1969
Lethbridge area 1970-1984 | Edmonton obituaries

Probate indexes
Compiled by the Alberta Genealogical Society, which can provide copies.

Alberta Family Histories Society - Cemetery Index
Alberta Ancestors is a new source for information on more than 145,000 burials in the Calgary region.

Billion Graves
International cemetery site includes Alberta.

Canadian Headstones
A national cemetery site with two million entries.

Edmonton's municipal cemeteries
Search 60,000 burials from more than 25 years ago

Our Heritage - from the Lethbridge area of southern Alberta
This site is no longer active but is an important resource, so the link is to the Internet Archive. Scroll down to find a database of burials in southwestern Alberta from 1885 through 1984.

Hillside Cemetery, Medicine Hat
This City of Medicine Hat website has burials up to the past few years. It also offers a cemetery app to make it easy to find graves using a mobile device.

Edmonton Journal obituaries
Obituaries from the early 2000s to the present day.

Calgary Herald obituaries
Obituaries from the early 2000s to the present day.

Geography and land records

Edmonton fire insurance plans, 1913 and 1925
Courtesy the City of Edmonton Archives. Click on a year, then click on the volume numbers to see a guide to coverage.

Edmonton aerial photographs
Courtesy the City of Edmonton Archives. Coverage includes 1924, 1930, 1948, 1952, 1957, 1965, 1978, 1988, 1998. Click on a year, then check on the guide map to determine which local map will help you.

Homesteads since 1870 | Ancestry 1870-1930
Canadian Pacific Railway land sales

Applications for Alberta Land Patents 1885-1897
An Alberta Genealogical Society centennial project based on applications filed in the Beaver Lake, Calgary, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, Edmonton and Lethbridge agencies.

Homestead Index 1870-1930
The Alberta Genealogical Society's centennial project, based on 686 rolls of microfilm at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

Homestead Index post 1930
A work in progress by the Alberta Genealogical Society, based on 567 rolls of microfilm at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

Homestead Records -- Internet Archive
Alberta Homestead records, courtesy the University of Alberta. These records were digitized from the microfilms at the university. To find a file, search first on the AGS site above to get the microfilm number and the file number. Then click on this Internet Archive link, and then enter the film number in the search form when it appears. Then, look for your file. Be warned that it might take time, because each digitized microfilm has 2,000 to 3,000 images.

Alberta Township Maps
If you know the township where your ancestors lived, the next step is to get a map. You are likely to find several here. In the "Search the Archives" box, type the township and range in this format: "TP.47 RGE.26" without the quotation marks. The most informative map is the one with red handwriting that names the homesteader of the quarter section.

Finding Aid to Prairie Land Records -- by Dave Obee

Understanding Western Canada's Dominion Land Survey System -- Downloadable PDF
Posted by the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute.

Canadian National Railway maps -- From the early 1900s

Other sites for genealogy

Alberta Government Telephone books A superb collection of scanned telephone directories, courtes the Medicine Hat and District Genealogical Society.

University of Calgary Digital Collections
Superb collection, including searchable local histories as well as newspapers covering more than 100 years.
Local and Alberta histories collection
Early Alberta newspapers
Historical maps
Alberta airphoto collection
Grande Prairie historical photos
Glenbow Library and Archives

Peel's Prairie Provinces
A superb collection for Prairie research, with thousands of items online. It is all searchable.

Provincial Archives of Alberta
Searchable database, including many maps.

Alberta Genealogy Research
A private site with plenty of information and lists of names. (Use the search box on the main page to quickly get to what you are looking for.)

Alberta Source
Alberta online encyclopedia, with many historical features.

Alberta Digital Archives
Major source for digitization projects.

Alberta On Record
Searches multiple archives in Alberta.

Alberta GenWeb
The Alberta page of Canada GenWeb.

Stockmen's Memorial Foundation
Find farmers! You can look up people who registered cattle brands.

A Profile of Alberta's German-speaking Communities
Includes an extensive bibliography as PDF files.

Alberta Digital Archives
Includes Bible records, cemeteries, census, church records, correspondence, deeds, local histories and directories.

Lethbridge 1891: A settlement becomes a town
FREE DOWNLOAD - PDF FORMAT. Includes a day-by-day account, as well as a census index and three other sources of names.

Archives and libraries in Alberta

Provincial Archives of Alberta
The archives, in Edmonton, has both government and private records.

Glenbow Library and Archives
Based at the University of Calgary. The website includes a photograph collection as well as the Canadian Pacific Railway land sales database.

University of Alberta libraries and University of Calgary Library
Use the library catalogues to find additional materials of interest.

Genealogy Resources at Edmonton Public Library
This library has a comprehensive collection of books, maps and microfilm to help genealogists.

Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum

South Peace Regional Archives
Peace River Country land settlement database, soldier memorials, newspaper collections and more.

Veterans Memorial Gardens and Interpretive Centre
Based in Grande Prairie.

Archives Society of Alberta
Includes information about archival institutions, including a searchable database of more than 5,000 records.

Genealogical societies in Alberta

Alberta Genealogical Society
Based in Edmonton with branches throughout the province. Links to census and homestead indexes.
Branches: Brooks | Camrose | Drayton Valley | Edmonton | Fort McMurray
Grande Prairie | Lethbridge | Medicine Hat | Red Deer | Wetaskiwin

Alberta Family Histories Society
Based in Calgary. More than 500 pages with lots of cemetery and newspaper obituary references. A key resource is the projects registry, listing resources across Canada.

Historical Society of Alberta
Publications list, calendar of events, newsletter, society information and links.

Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Alberta
A forum for Jewish family historians.

Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
With the ancestry of society members, newsletter, membership and programs.

Southern Alberta Pioneers and Their Descendants
The society, based in Calgary, collects, preserves, and publishes the history of the people in Southern Alberta before 1891.

The North-West Genealogical Society
This is a non-profit organization that focuses on the history of Canadian families and their genealogies. SGNO, a society with 30 years of experience, has a research centre located in the Cité francophone in Edmonton open to all interested people.

Stettler Genealogy Club
The club serves a large area of east central Alberta, not just the town of Stettler.

United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada
Branches: Calgary | Edmonton

American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
Chapters: Calgary | Edmonton

Nation-wide sites worth checking

Library and Archives Canada (Free)
A huge amount of information, including census, immigration and military information. A key resource for all Canadian genealogists.

FamilySearch (Free)
From the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Includes an index to several censuses, civil registration extracts, a guide to the library catalog, submitted and extracted records, and more.

Canadiana (Free)
Quick access to about millions of documents held in Canadian libraries, museums and archives, compiled into one resource for convenient searching. This site has many resources not found elsewhwere. (Commercial)
Ancestry has an extensive collection drawn from census indexes, immigration sources, and other material from different provinces.

FindMyPast (Commercial)
A collection of sources that is still being developed. FindMyPast includes census indexes, birth indexes, and many scanned books, as well as newspapers.

MyHeritage (Commercial)
The Canadian arm of a site known for its strong European material. It includes the major resources found on other sites.

Automated Genealogy (Free)
Includes free indexes to the 1851/2, 1901, 1906 and 1911 censuses.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (Free)
Notable people who died before 1930.

Discover your family history through historical newspapers at

Ancestry Canada

Books by
Dave Obee

Counting Canada


The ultimate guide to the Canadian census
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Destination Canada


All about Canadian immigration sources
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