Genealogy

New to genealogy? Take a look at our genealogy pamphlet:  Tracing your Family Tree.  This brochure will point you in the right direction for many of the most common genealogy questions such as searching for vital records, census records, and passenger and immigration records. Or, try this resource list called Getting Started with Genealogy to help you find “how to” books.

For resources on Alberta history, take a look at our Alberta History Bibliography.

Below is an invaluable book which is a guide to EPL’s genealogy collection. There are both circulating and reference copies for you to view or take home.

     Genealogy Reference Sources at the Edmonton Public Library
     A Guide to the Stanley A. Milner Library Collection
     Rek, Joseph (Book - 2001)

You can learn about our extensive genealogy and local history collection in the Heritage Room, Stanley  A. Milner Library, downtown.

Located on the second floor of the Stanley A. Milner Library, the Heritage Room houses a special, non-circulating collection of close to 10,000 titles. The focus of this collection is on the history and development of Edmonton in particular and northern Alberta and western Canada in general, and contains a wide range of genealogical materials to help the people of Edmonton research their family roots beyond Alberta and the prairie region.

Our collection includes:

  • several hundred titles pertaining to Edmonton and Edmontonians
  • local histories of northern Alberta schools, churches and communities
  • works relating to immigration, settlement, pioneer life, politics and government
  • guidebooks, business and organization histories
  • early Edmonton and Calgary city directories
  • nearly 4,000 titles from A Bibliography of the Prairie Provinces to 1953 by Bruce Peel on microfiche. Early Henderson's city directories for Edmonton and other prairie cities are part of this collection.
  • Eaton's catalogues, 1884-1976, on microfilm
  • published passenger lists, census and vital records
  • historical atlases of Ontario counties

Many of the earlier works in this collection are often fragile and irreplaceable. Please take care in handling them. Some titles in the Heritage Collection can also be found in the circulating collection.

The Heritage Room is made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the Edmonton Public Library.

Books, DVDs, and more…all hand-selected by subject experts to make your life easy.
 
Start with:

For more EPL books and websites on Genealogy try:

Looking for convenient, up-to-date genealogy sources? Try these first...

  • World Vital Records - WVR is growing quickly and offers access to a wide variety of genealogical records from around the world, including everything from birth and marriage records, to historic newspapers, immigration lists, census records, vital records, parish and land records.   Rare collections, such as passenger lists from immigrant vessels, yearbooks from US high schools and universities, manuscripts and major new census documents are also available. Users can search by country, region or US state and to cross reference the results against a number of international records.  Available at all locations and remotely.
     
  • HeritageQuest Genealogy - Strong on North American sources, and includes PERSI, a periodical source index. This is a subject index covering genealogy and local history periodicals for both the US and Canada, and written in English as well as French. Over 2.1 million citations, updated annually. Available at all locations and remotely.
     
  • Ancestry Library - ONLY available in-branch, no remote access.  
    International coverage.  Includes the 1901 and 1911 Census of Canada; the 1906 Canadian Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta; the 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; and the 1871 Census of Ontario and a number of other Canadian resources. 
     
  • Maps at Milner - Indexed list of the maps at the Stanley A. Milner Library. Also includes maps in the Genealogy Maps collection. Maps are for in-library use only.
     
  • Biography & Genealogy Master Index - Provides listings of articles found in a wide range of the reference books in our collections. Great finding tool for tough biographical questions. Does not provide the text of the articles. 

Try these key websites for genealogy research.

Alberta Genealogical Society
They have a resource library in Edmonton  and maintain valuable sources for Alberta genealogy such as electronic indexes to cemeteries and homestead records.

Alberta Family Histories Society (Calgary) 

Our Future, Our Past: The Alberta Heritage Digitization Project 
This website provides free access to newspapers from 1885, entire books about local communities, legal documents, historic photographs, and more.

Canadian Genealogy Centre – Library and Archives Canada 
This is a vast genealogy site with a useful index of topics and links to other genealogical organizations, including provincial archives across Canada.

RootsWeb
Their purpose is to connect people to help each other and share genealogical research.  The site includes Alberta content such as Alberta GenWeb.

FamilySearch
It is one of the largest genealogy organizations in the world. Free resources and services available online or at their family history centres.  

The  WorldGenWeb Project 
Provides genealogical and historical records and resources for world-wide access.

CanGenealogy - Canadian Genealogy / Family History Sources  
Canadian genealogist Dave Obee's recommended links for genealogy research in Canada.

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy sites on the Internet  
This website provides a comprehensive index to world genealogical resources on the Internet

Encyclopedia of Genealogy 
Start here for reference information about everything in genealogy except people!  You will find explanations of how to look up your family tree and explanations of terms found in genealogy research, including obsolete medical and legal terms.

From our databases:

  • Edmonton Obituaries 1950-1982 (Edmonton Journal) - Search by last name to locate the date of Obituaries in the Edmonton Journal. 
  • Canada News, Business & Current Affairs - Indexes obituaries from the Edmonton Journal (1989 - November 2002, and Feb 20, 2004 onward) and many other major Canadian newspapers. Articles from the Journal and other newspapers are delayed by 1 week. Full text for obituaries is not available through the database. To find a name enter your search in basic or advanced  mode as follows: AT(OBITUARY) AND SO(Edmonton Journal) AND lastname firstname
  • Globe & Mail (1844 to 2006) - Full text, searchable database, includes images.

Request an Obituary from an Edmonton Newspaper:

Books at the Stanley A. Milner Library:

Websites:

  • Calgary Herald Obituaries  - Earliest Archive date is May 3rd 2002. This database is continually updated. One month delayed. Current month covered on Calgary Herald website.
  • Edmonton Journal Obituaries  - View obituaries and memorial tributes from the last 30 days.
  • Edmonton Journal Obituary Archive  - From May 12, 2002 to one month ago.
  • Remembering (Canada) - A good place to locate recent obituaries from 10 Canadian cities.
  • Legacy.com Obituaries  - Legacy provides the online obituary services for 275 American newspapers. You can browse a specific paper or search across all the newspapers, results include the Social Security Death Index.
  • Obituaries 101  - Links to all obituary notices available online from US newspapers.
  • British Columbia Vital Event Index - historical birth, marriage, and death registrations. Lists births from 1854 to 1903, marriages from 1872 to 1936 and deaths from 1872 to 1991. "Information about a death can be released only after 20 years, a marriage after 75 years, and a birth after 120 years. As archivists come to records they can legally make public, the number of records posted online will expand."


Cemeteries

Alberta:

Start with the websites below to find cemetary information and listings:

Canada: