Links & Suggestions

Researching your Alberta ancestors can sometimes seem like a challenging task. The province is relatively young, and records reside in any number of repositories. This page will provide a list of sites that can help you find the best places to look and links to libraries and archives that can help you when the records are not online. Please note: This page is a work in progress. Additional categories (such as cemeteries) are being compiled to add to this resource.

Resources available at the Alberta Family Histories Society Library

If you live in Calgary, the AFHS Library is a great place to start. Our online catalogue allows you to search by keyword, title, author or subject.

The Basics

The FamilySearch Wiki has information specific to Alberta research:,_Canada_Genealogy

The CanGenealogy website also has a page about Alberta:

Cyndi’s List has links to many genealogy sites for Alberta: Canada >> Provinces >> Alberta


Be sure to check the websites of these organizations for resources and links to other helpful sites.

Alberta Genealogical Society (has branches for many locations within the province – see Branches menu on the website)

Peace River Genealogical Society

American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Calgary Chapter

La Société Généalogique du Nord-Ouest: a resource for people exploring their Francophone roots in Alberta

Genealogical Institute of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada

Jewish Historical Society of Southern Alberta

Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta

Southern Alberta Pioneers and their Descendants

Calgary Branch UELAC (United Empire Loyalists)

Burtonsville Historical Society

Libraries and Archives

Provincial Archives of Alberta

Alberta Family Histories Society Library:

Calgary Public Library: Calgary’s Story:

Edmonton Public Library

Libraries in smaller communities are usually a part of a regional system. You can find most libraries and library systems through this link:

University of Calgary Library : Sources for Metis Genealogy

University of Calgary Digital Collections

Vital Records

Information regarding how to find official birth, marriage and death registrations is on the Provincial Archives of Alberta website

Announcements are sometimes found in newspapers. See our Newspaper category for a list of links.

In addition to the decennial censuses of the whole country, the Prairie Provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) were enumerated every 5 years (1906, 1916, 1926) to monitor their growth and settlement)

Automated genealogy – An ongoing project to index Canadian census records and link them to selected resources. Includes the 1906 Census of the Prairie Provinces.

Library and Archives Canada – digitized census records including the special censuses of the Prairie Provinces (1906, 1916 and 1926)

Land Records
Land in Alberta was made available for homesteading. Homestead records can contain valuable genealogical information as well as information about the land itself.

Alberta Genealogical Society Homestead Index

Provincial Archives of Alberta Homestead information:

Western Canada Land Grants Database – if the homestead was improved a patent could be applied for. This site also has a very good description of the Western Canadian Land System.

Not all land was homesteaded. Land was set aside for the Hudson’s Bay Company and the railway. Sometimes this land was sold to settlers.

Canadian Pacific Railway land sales database:

Hudson’s Bay Company land sales


Public Library Williams and Harris Shared History Centre:

Digital Historical Maps – University of Calgary: <

Peel’s Prairie Provinces Maps:

Provincial Archives of Alberta, Cartographic Collection:

Canadian Sessional Papers Maps (1901 – 1925) University of Toronto:

Hudson’s Bay Company Fur Trade Post Maps:

The Canadian West (archived site from Collections Canada):

Historical Atlas of Canada Online Learning Project (maps of exploration):

Online Historical Map Digitization Project:

Electoral Atlas of Canada 1895 – Library and Archives Canada:

Fire Insurance Plans – Library and Archives Canada:

Air Photos – University of Calgary:

(Internet Archive also has maps (use “maps” and a place name or subject to see what they have).


A good first step in newspaper research is to find what papers were available in the area in which your ancestors settled. An excellent resource is Alberta Newspapers, 1880-1982: An Historical Directory by Gloria M. Strathern. This is available at the AFHS Library (call number 971.23 *BMD STRA) and in many research libraries in Alberta.

If you are looking for newspaper notices from early Calgary newspapers, please see our searchable database of birth, marriage and death notices on our Routes to Roots page. This is an ongoing project.

Calgary Newspapers

Calgary Herald Archive Online on the Calgary Public Library website (searchable; available with CPL library card):

Early Alberta Newspapers – includes Calgary Tribune, The Calgary Daily Herald and early issues of the Calgary Herald:

Newspapers in other areas of Alberta

Peel’s Prairie Provinces (hosted by University of Alberta Libraries; includes many small communities):

Southern Alberta Newspaper Collection (includes the Lethbridge News):

Grand Prairie Tribune (AGS)

Miscellaneous Websites
Pioneer Churches on the Prairies

Alberta’s Italian Community

The Alberta Online Encyclopedia – a web portal developed by the Heritage Community Foundation

Alberta Genweb Projects

Banff-Kananaskis-Bighorn GenWeb
Big Lakes County of Alberta GenWeb
Calgary Municipal District GenWeb
Camrose County GenWeb
Clearwater Municipal District GenWeb
East Peace GenWeb
Grande Prairie County GenWeb
[Municipal District of] Mackenzie GenWeb
Parkland County GenWeb
[Municipal District of] Peace GenWeb
County of Ponoka GenWeb
Red Deer County GenWeb

Ukrainian Research

In Fear of the Barbed Wire Fence
Ukrainian Canadian Internment Archival Documents