Alberta Civil Registration

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Alberta Civil Registration
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Online Records[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Vital records are birth, marriage, and death records maintained by civil authorities. Civil governments have created records of births, marriages, and deaths.
Records containing this information are commonly called "vital records," because they refer to critical events in a person's life. These are the most important documents for genealogical research, although the births, marriages, and deaths of many people have never been recorded by civil authorities.
Alberta began province-wide registration of births, marriages, and deaths in 1898, which was generally complied with by 1930. There are a few records of births between 1870 and 1890.

Contents[edit | edit source]

This table tells you the genealogical information contained in birth, marriage, and death records.

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Usually Contain

May Contain

  • Name of child
  • Names of parents
  • Birth date and place
  • Sex
  • Date of registration
  • Name and address of informant
  • Name of registration district.
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Name of attending physician or midwife
  • Ages of parents
  • Place of birth for parents
  • Occupation of father
  • Remarks

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Usually Contain

May Contain

  • Name of bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Ages of couple at time of marriage
  • Residences at time of marriage
  • Birthplaces of bride and groom (town, province, or country)
  • Groom's rank or profession
  • Names of parents
  • Name of person who performed the marriage (possible clue to family's religion)
  • Names of witnesses (possible relatives)
  • Date of registration
  • Religion of bride and groom
  • Previous marriage (if any)
  • Signatures of couple and witnesses

Death Records[edit | edit source]

Usually Contain

May Contain

  • Name of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Residence
  • Sex
  • Place of birth (town, province, or country)
  • Age at death or birth date
  • Cause of death
  • Name of informant
  • Name of registration district
  • Religion of deceased
  • Name of spouse with maiden name
  • Names of parents with maiden name of mother
  • Province or country of birth for the parents
  • Date and place of burial
  • Military service such as dates served and unit
  • Name, address, and relationship of informant
  • Name of funeral home
  • Time of death
  • Length and type of illness or disease
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Name of attending physician

Provincial Archives of Alberta[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriage, and death records are available beginning in 1870, although reliable coverage began more in 1898.

The Provincial Archives of Alberta provides access to:
  • birth records that are 120 years or older (from the date of birth)
  • marriage records that are 75 years or older (from the date of marriage)
  • death records that are 50 years or older (from the date of death)
  • stillbirth records that are 75 years or older (from the date of stillbirth)

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Before requesting a record, find your ancestor in the index and copy down the reference number:

Requesting and Purchasing a Record[edit | edit source]

Registry Offices[edit | edit source]

Records too recent to be obtained from the Archives have privacy restrictions. These can still be obtained if you are able to show that the individual is deceased and that you are an eligible next of kin (parent, sibling, children or spouse).

Divorce[edit | edit source]

From 1840 to 1968, divorces in Canada were granted by the Parliament of Canada. From 1867 to 1968, anyone wanting a divorce had to place a notice of intent in newspapers. A petition was submitted to Parliament with details, including the place and date of marriage. Parliament then passed an Act of Divorce granting the divorce.

"This database includes the names of the spouses, places of residence at the time of the marriage and divorce, other marriages (if noted), and dates of marriage and divorce (the date when the act became law) for divorce acts from this period. The original records may include additional information such as other places of residence, occupations, additional court action taken, and number of children (and occasionally their names or genders), if any. The very restrictive grounds for the cost of a divorce made them quite rare; the records are, however, worth obtaining when they apply".[1]

Library and Archives Canada Database of Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

Senate of Canada[edit | edit source]

  • The Senate of Canada holds the original divorce files, but they are closed to the public under privacy legislation. You can obtain a certified copy of a divorce act for legal purposes from them:

Senate of Canada
Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel
Room 1310
13th Floor
40 Elgin Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A4
Telephone: 613-992-2416

Adoption[edit | edit source]

Tip:Why might it be better to look for the death record of an ancestor first?[edit | edit source]

  • Your ancestor's death is more recent than his birth or marriage. It is usually best to work from recent events backward, from the known to the unknown.
  • Death records exist for many persons born before birth and marriage records began. Death records may contain birth and marriage information not available anywhere else.
  • Death records may contain birth, marriage, and burial information as well as death information.
  • The death record usually tells you where your ancestor last lived. Then you can look for other records for that place.
  • The death record may lead you to other documents created in connection with the death, such as the burial and probate of your ancestor. Those records may give new family information.


  1. "Canada Parliamentary Marriage and Divorces, 1867-1919," at,, accessed 29 Noovember 2020.