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!