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Genealogy and Family History

Where to Search: Places

Northwest Territories

Historical Notes



The Atlas of Canada.

The Northwest Territories has been part of Canada since July 15, 1870. These lands were acquired from the Hudson's Bay Company and Great Britain.

Large portions were then sliced off to form the provinces of Manitoba (1870), Saskatchewan (1905) and Alberta (1905), as well as the territories of Yukon (1898) and Nunavut (1999). Other parts of the Northwest Territories were appended to Manitoba (1880, 1912), Ontario (1912) and Quebec (1912).

The first white people arrived in the territories around the end of the eighteenth century as a result of the northward expansion of the fur trade, and trading posts were established in the Mackenzie River Valley in the early-nineteenth century.

Researchers interested in ancestors who lived in the Northwest Territories use the main types of genealogical sources.

Territorial Websites


Northwest Territories Archival Network

Northwest Territories Archives

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 the Northwest Territories.

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 Northwest Territories. You can also access databases from our Directory of Canadian Genealogical Resources - AVITUS.