An Introduction To The New AFHS Cemeteries Project, Alberta Ancestors
The Alberta Ancestors website https://albertaancestors.ca was created by Alberta Family Histories Society to showcase cemetery and related information from Calgary and surrounding area. The goal is to provide an aid for interested genealogists, local history fans and the general public alike. The site strives to enlighten, entertain and serve as a jumping off point for further research. The site features:
• A searchable cemeteries section with maps, name counts, marker photos, histories and statistics
• A comprehensive persons database searchable by surname, given names, birth year and death year
• Selected stories on military personnel, pioneers and other notable people.
Since 1980, a dedicated team of volunteers has been documenting cemetery information across Southern Alberta. Volunteers have gathered data from headstone inscriptions, cemetery administration staff and boards, volunteer organizations, and other data sources. Numerous field trips have been made to photograph headstones, document names, birth/death years, plot locations, burial names & dates and monument information. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy of information, including third party proofreading.
To explore cemeteries, browse to https://albertaancestors.ca and click on the Cemeteries menu link. There, over 80 cemeteries (and growing) can be searched by region, city/town, cemetery name or on an interactive map. Within each cemetery are sections displaying history, analytics graphs, common names, a map, and a searchable list of persons interred at that cemetery.
Searching for a person is simple and flexible. Depending on what information is known, searches can be done by surname and/or given name and/or birth year and/or death year. A search from the homepage https://albertaancestors.ca/ searches across all cemeteries, whereas a search from within a cemetery page will search on just that cemetery. A search will bring up a results table with the headings: Surname, Given Name, Born, Died, Age, Cemetery (Cemetery Name), and Location (Plot Location).
Within the table, hover over the surname or given name to view more information. In the Location column, click on the RIP icon to open a new page displaying a headstone image along with other burial information. The magnifying glass icon on the image can be clicked to view a larger version of that image.
The stories page, located at https://albertaancestors.ca/narrative/, is an ever-growing collection of write-ups on the region’s famous, infamous, and notorious inhabitants. The purpose behind the stories page is to add some entertaining and educational content to complement the otherwise fact-driven site.
Articles are presented in a style mimicking a print newspaper. Column widths and lengths vary to make the page more visually appealing. Articles are presented as stubs with a “Read More” button underneath. Clicking the button opens a new page where the full article is presented. Use your browser refresh button to see other stories, selected at random.
The Insight Page, located at https://albertaancestors.ca/insight , has 6 subpages:
1. The Cemeteries subpage provides a further explanation on how to use the Cemeteries page.
2. The Family Genes subpage provides a brief introduction and a link to the Family Genes site.
3. An Appreciation & Acknowledgement subpage has been set up to recognize volunteer efforts over the years.
4. The Stories subpage is a link to our narratives of notable persons.
5. The About AFHS subpage describes the Society and it’s objectives.
6. Finally, the Analytics subpage contains interesting demographics charts for those more statistically inclined.