Genealogical Search


A genealogical search is conducted when a person wants to learn about his/her family history or family tree.

The Vital Statistics office is only one of many places through which a genealogical search may be conducted. Records may also be found through churches, the Provincial Archives of Alberta (external Website), the Alberta Genealogical Society, libraries (including the Legislative Library) and various local history books.

When conducting a search through Alberta Vital Statistics it is important to understand the following.

  • Vital Statistics only has the records of births, marriages, deaths and stillbirths that occurred in Alberta and were registered in Alberta. If the event (birth, marriage, death, stillbirth) was not registered, there will be no record for Vital Statistics to locate.
    • Alberta Vital Statistics' birth records begin in 1853 with records becoming more plentiful around 1915.
    • Alberta Vital Statistics' marriage records begin in 1875 with records becoming more plentiful around 1920.
    • Alberta Vital Statistics' death records begin in 1883 with records becoming more plentiful around 1905.
    • Alberta Vital Statistics' stillbirth records begin in 1914 with records becoming more plentiful around 1945.

  • It is recommended that an individual requesting a genealogical search order a photocopy of a registration for the applicable event. The registration document carries the most information of any of the documents produced by Vital Statistics. The registration is the document completed at the time of the event.
    • The Registration of Birth is completed at the time of the birth, usually by the mother.
    • The Registration of Marriage is completed at the marriage ceremony.
    • The Registration of Stillbirth is completed at the time of the stillbirth, usually by the mother.
    • The Registration of Death is completed at the time of death, usually by the family.

  • When Vital Statistics does not have a record of the event for which you are searching and you have documents to support its existence, you may want to register a delayed registration with the Vital Statistics office. Please contact Vital Statistics for more information about delayed registrations and the different types of documents/evidence required to complete this process

  • Alberta Vital Statistics records cannot be accessed over the Internet.

Eligibility

Anyone may apply for a record when the record is old enough.

  • Birth: after 120 years has passed from the date of birth, anyone may apply for the birth record.
  • Birth: after 50 years has passed from the person's date of death, anyone may apply for that person's birth record.
  • Marriage: after 75 years has passed from the date of marriage, anyone may apply for the marriage record.
  • Death: after 50 years has passed from the date of death, anyone may apply for the death record.
  • Stillbirth: after 75 years has passed from the date of stillbirth, anyone may apply for the stillbirth record.

Up until a record is that old, Vital Statistics records are not public and the person applying must show he/she is eligible to make an application. Eligibility detail is available as follows:

Application

Limited Event Information

  • All the information on an application must be completed as it is required for Vital Statistics to find the record.
  • When all the information cannot be provided, include a letter with your application explaining why the information required on the application form cannot be provided.
  • The type of event, the person's name (to which the record belongs) and the date of the event are required for a record to be found.
  • When the exact date of an event is unknown, minimally provide a year. All searches are for a three year period, the year before and the year after the date given is automatically searched.