Genealogy and Family History

General Resources: Alberta

Alberta Digitization Project
An ongoing, not-for-profit endeavor to provide all those interested in Alberta's history free, online access to cultural and heritage materials. Browse newspapers from 1885, read entire books about local communities, research legal documents, view historic photographs, and explore much more!

Alberta Family Histories Society (AFHS)
Includes links to helpful resources and a small amount of searchable online data, including 1906 Census of Northwest Canada (Prairie Provinces). AFHS also maintains a searchable cemetery database, focusing on the Calgary area (does not contain all cemetery records for the province), as well as an extensive list of local history books related to Alberta communities.

Alberta Genealogical Society (AGS)
Find information about local branches as well links to AGS and other databases, including Alberta Homestead/Land Records.

Alberta Vital Statistics
Alberta Vital Statistics will release birth, marriage, and death records for a fee, but for privacy reasons, these are only available to certain categories of individuals. List of the categories of individuals who may request such records.

HeRMIS: Heritage Resources Management Information System
Search the Provincial Archives’ described records, browse selected photographs, watch archival films, and search the library database.

Provincial Archives of Alberta
Vital statistics records, church records, census, Henderson directories, homestead records, divorce and probate records, passenger lists. Items are not available for loan.

Community Histories

Parkland Regional Library holds an extensive collection of local community history books, most of which can be borrowed by local patrons.

To find local history books in the Parkland online catalogue, do a general keyword search (without the brackets) for: history[town/district name].

General Resources: Canada and other countries

Ancestry Family History Wiki
Free articles to help people undertaking genealogy research. Includes the full text of the current edition of "The Source: a guidebook to American genealogy."
Canadian history website with digitized historical documents.

Chinese-Canadian Genealogy (Vancouver Public Library)
Created by Vancouver Public Library, this site is an excellent source for Chinese-Canadian genealogy. Topics covered: the basics of genealogy, history and pioneers, Chinese names, family sources, and documents and records. This site also explores the possibilities of researching family in China.

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet (Cyndi Howells)
Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites is a comprehensive list of genealogy sites available on the internet. The lists are organized by topic and by geography for easy reference. Cyndi’s List is continuously updated and also includes a how-to section.

FamilySearch (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
For over 100 years, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide. The service is provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and is freely accessible to all. Searchable databases, research tips, and access to the LDS library catalogue.

Google Books
Search for ancestors’ names in Google Books to see if they are mentioned in any of the books indexed there.

Google Earth: Historical Imagery
View historical maps of some cities with Google Earth.

Library and Archives Canada - Canadian Genealogy Centre
An indispensable guide to Canadian resources with tips for beginners.

Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta
Mennonite family history information.

National Climate Data and Information Archive
A historical archive of weather data for many Canadian towns and cities.

Olive Tree Genealogy (Lorine McGinnis Schulz)
Another free resource which provides links to ship passenger lists, some military records, and hints on searching for ancestors by group - ex. Mennonites, Native American, etc.

Online Genealogy Class (The Generations Network)
Family Tree offers a free online genealogy class. It’s focused on U.S. genealogy and resources but offers good tips for the beginner genealogist.

We Relate
A website where individuals can share their genealogical research and collaborate.

WorldGenWeb Project
The WorldGenWeb Project is a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for world-wide access.

 Census records

Automated Genealogy
Indexes for Canadian censuses.

Census Finder: A Directory of Free Census Records
Census records for the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada.

 Land records

Alberta Genealogical Society
Includes online access to the Alberta Homestead Index - 1870 to 1930 and the Alberta Homestead Index - post 1930.

Glenbow Museum & Archives
Includes an online CPR Land Sales Database for the prairie provinces for 1881-1906, and an index to Alberta homestead records. Glenbow also holds city directories and extensive Metis genealogy resources. Books available through interlibrary loan.

 Immigration & Passenger Lists

Genealogy Articles, Tips and Research Guides (Joe Beine)
See the Passenger Lists section.

National Archives Genealogy Research: Immigration and Border Entry Records
Access to passenger list databases, as well as information on immigrants who arrived across the Canada/United States border from April 1908 to 31 December 1935.

 Newspapers & Obituaries

Alberta Legislature Library
Vast collection of Alberta newspapers. Papers may be viewed on site; some available through interlibrary loan.

Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales Quebec: Collection numerique
Full-text historical issues of many Quebec newspapers. Click on the “English” link at the top to view some of the website text in English (this will not affect the text of the newspapers themselves).

Edmonton Public Library - Edmonton Obituaries
Online free index of names of individuals for whom obituaries were published in the Edmonton Journal, 1950-1982. EPL will provide photocopies of obituaries for $10/obituary (requests must be made through your local library as interlibrary loan requests.) EPL offers the obituary photocopying service for the Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun, Edmonton Bulletin, and Edmonton Capital. Exact publication dates of the requested obituaries must be provided if you wish to use this service.

Manitobia: Digital Resources on Manitoba History - Newspapers
Full-text historical issues of many Manitoba newspapers.

Our Future, Our Past: Alberta Heritage Digitization Project (University of Calgary Press)
Collaboration of a national network of libraries, universities, archives, and historical associations who have digitized more than 5,500 books and documents. 

Our Ontario: Newspaper Indexes
Newspaper indexes plus some full-text historical issues of Ontario newspapers.

Peel’s Prairie Provinces
Another large collection of full-text historical issues of Alberta newspapers, as well as a few from Saskatchewan and BC.