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 and maps are being compiled to add to this resource.

Resources available at the Alberta Family Histories Society library

The AFHS Library is a great place to start. Our online catalogue allows you to search by keyword, title, author or subject.

The Basics

Library and Archives Canada has put together a brief introduction to doing genealogy in Alberta

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

Alberta Family Histories Society

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

Société Historique et Généalogique de Smoky River

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)

Alberta Ukraine Genealogical Project

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

Glenbow Western Research Centre

Vital Records and Announcements
Birth Death and Marriage registers, Provincial Archives of Alberta

Alberta Family History Genealogy Research (The Recents) provides free indexes to some Alberta resources including newspaper BMDs Charges apply for copies of the sources.

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

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.

Grand Prairie Tribune (AGS)