Genealogical Search

A genealogical search allows individuals to discover more about their family history.

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 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 ask for a certified photocopy of a registration. This document carries the most information of any of the documents produced by Vital Statistics.

  • 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.

Who may apply for a genealogical search?

Anyone may apply for a genealogical search of 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 in one of the following (as is applicable).

What if I only have limited information about the event?

  • 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.
  • A person's name (to which the record belongs) and the date of the event must be provided 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. 

How do I obtain an application?

Depending on where you are, complete one of the following application forms.

How do I submit an application? 

Submit your application according to where you are.

  • Persons in Alberta must apply in person at a Registry Agent office. For additional information about registry agents, please contact:
    Edmonton: 780-427-7013
    Other Areas (Alberta only): 310-0000, then dial 780-427-7013
  • Persons not in Alberta must apply through Registry Connect.

How much do certificates / documents cost?

In addition to the Alberta government fee, registry agents and Registry Connect are authorized to charge a service fee.

How will a certificate / document be delivered?

  • Certificates/documents are mailed to the person who ordered the certificate/document.
  • For special arrangements and/or rush service options, discuss this with the Registry Agent or Registry Connect, as is applicable.
  • Certificates/documents are not sent C.O.D.

How long does it take to process an application?

Once a registry agent or Registry Connect submits a request, it is usually processed within two to three business days provided no additional information is required. If all the required information is not supplied on the application form, your request may be delayed.