The Value of Land Records
Some of the most heavily used resources in genealogy are land records. Immigration agents between 1896 and 1905 led an ambitious marketing campaign by flooding Europe with advertisements such as: posters, notices and pamphlets promoting “free land” in Western Canada. It was a strong incentive for many of our ancestors to immigrate. Today, homestead records are a valuable resource in family research. These gems can hold clues to family members, neighbors and previous residences leading to citizenship, probate records, vital statistics and many more sources.
Individuals from the AGS Homestead Committee who passionately developed and continue to index the Alberta Homestead files discuss the advantages in using the AGS Homestead Index over Ancestry.
The following websites are provided to give you a better understanding about how the Dominion Land Survey was conducted in the Prairie Provinces, an overview of what legal land descriptions are, and where to request a historical land search.
The Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA) preserves the collective memory of Alberta, contributes to the protection of Albertans rights and the Alberta sense of identity. Located in Edmonton, Alberta.
The records in this collection are applications for land patents submitted by Alberta homesteaders during 1885 to 1897. The files contain affidavits to support a homesteaders application for land title. Each file is four pages long.
The Alberta Genealogical Society (AGS) created an all-name index to homestead files from 686 reels of microfilm in the collection of the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA).
Prior to 1930, records of land settlement in Alberta were handled by the Dominion Lands Branch of the Federal Government. Control of natural resources was transferred in 1930 and all active land files were turned over to the Province.
The sheer size of the British Empire brought about great changes and population shifts for many peoples and countries. With a pressing need to occupy, develop, and defend the newly acquired lands Great Britain became