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Genealogy and Family History

Where to Search: Places


Historical Notes



The Atlas of Canada.

Alberta was originally part of a vast territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670. Over the next two centuries, Native Peoples, fur traders and missionaries lived there.

On November 19, 1869, the Government of Canada acquired all of the land belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, commonly called Rupert's Land.

In 1870, the region between the province of Manitoba and the Canadian Rockies was made into a territory henceforth known as the Northwest Territories. The arrival of the railway in the mid-1880s opened these territories to massive settlement.

Between 1896 and 1914, many immigrants from eastern Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Europe settled here. Alberta became a province on September 1, 1905.

Researchers interested in ancestors who lived in Alberta use the main types of genealogical sources. Among other sources, land records, especially "homestead" records, provide much information about these ancestors.

Provincial Websites

Alberta Family Histories Society

Alberta Genealogical Society

Archives Network of Alberta

Calgary Public Library

Edmonton Public Library


Provincial Archives of Alberta

Société généalogique du Nord-Ouest
[] (Available in French only)

The official provincial government Web site
contains useful information about the province and its historic records.

The Canadian Encyclopedia Online
allows you to learn more about the history, geography and people of Alberta.

Many libraries hold reference books, local histories, family histories and other books on genealogy. Library and Archives Canada allows you to Browse Lists of Canadian Library Web Sites and Catalogues by province.

The sections on What to Search: Topics and Genealogy Links of this site can provide more useful information about how to do genealogical research in Alberta. You can also access databases from our Directory of Canadian Genealogical Resources - AVITUS.

To Learn More

You can also consult the following book:

Tracing your ancestors in Alberta: a guide to sources of genealogical interest in Alberta's archives and research centers, by Victoria Lemieux and David Leonard, 1992.