How to Find Alberta Vital Records

Alberta has a bad rap for genealogical records, but it isn’t the black hole of the West as most people think. Well maybe isn’t as easy as its counterparts like Saskatchewan Vital Records or Manitoba but the records are there.

Vital records are available at the Provincial Archives (PAA) for

  • Births that are over 120 years (not adoptions
  • Stillbirths over 75 years
  • Marriage over 75 years
  • Deaths over 50 years

If you are looking for more recent records here is the link for more information on the Service Alberta web page.

Here is the process I used to get a record for a relative who was married in Edmonton in 1908.  The first thing I did was go to the Provincial Archives of Edmonton webpage and located the Genealogy tab.


Once I selected the Genealogy tab I scrolled down to the b/m/d pdfs on the page to determine if there was a specific number I should be locating. I have to admit I did find this process a little tedious and confusing. In the end, I contacted PAA via email explaining what I was searching for, the names of the people, the date (I only knew the year) and the location.

I received an email from them stating that they had received my request and they would be in touch. A follow-up e-mail told me they had located the marriage record and asked if I would like them to mail it or come in and view it in their reading room. I replied that they should mail it, a digital copy was not given as an option.

Another email followed that included a link to pay for the record and they

accept Visa, Visa debit, MasterCard and AMEX. We are also not able to accept credit card information over the phone to make payments.

The cost for the record is minimal – $3.00 ($6.00 if outside of Canada) and photocopying fee of $.35-$.50 cents! Not bad Alberta, not bad at all.

If you have relatives in Alberta and have been putting off ordering Vital Records, I would like to encourage you to go for it. Overall the process to access the records is not difficult and as you can see full of information! Well, they call them VITAL records for a reason!


Marriage record of William Lewis Young and Emily Mays at The Manse in Edmonton, Alberta 26 August 1908.

  9 comments for “How to Find Alberta Vital Records

  1. January 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks so much for this information! I admit I find Alberta frustrating compared to BC when it comes to its records. I will have a look – I THINK my 3x great uncle was married in Alberta (possibly bigamously) between 1911 and 1916. At least now I have a starting place and it’s good to know an email can get me the answer. Though I HATE Paypal and wish they had an alternate way to pay online.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Great I hope this helps you to locate the marriage if there is one to find.
      BC is the golden child of Canada’s Vital records and I am always so happy when I realize an event took place there in my family tree.
      I haven’t had any problems with using Pay Pal. Another way to pay would be to call them and give your credit card number over the phone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shannon Cherkowski
        January 28, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        The Provincial Archives no longer accepts payment over the phone. Payment is accepted in person (cash, debit, credit cards) or online (credit cards).


      • January 28, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        Ahhh, thanks Shannon!


  2. Shannon Cherkowski
    January 28, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Patricia!
    The Provincial Archives does accept credit cards online for payment of the photocopies, mailing fees, digitized photos etc.

    Re: Birth Registrations
    If a person passed away more than 50 years ago, and was born in Alberta, one can also apply for their birth registration through the Provincial Archives.


    Liked by 1 person

    • January 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks for clarifying about payment Shannon, and for the added information. I have edited my error in the post to reflect this.


      • Shannon Cherkowski
        January 28, 2017 at 5:30 pm

        You’re welcome! Glad to help! Thank you for clarifying the information! The PAA is my favorite place to conduct research and I am lucky enough to live only 20 minutes away.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Markiyan Fedyna
    January 28, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Patricia,

    As the Archives Retail Services Coordinator, I would just like to clarify the payment methods available at the PAA regarding online purchases.

    We accept Visa, Visa debit, MasterCard and AMEX. We are also not able to accept credit card information over the phone to make payments.

    We would appreciate you changing the payment methods mentioned in the post to match the our current payment method options.

    Thank you


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