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, neighbours and previous residences leading to citizenship, probate records, vital statistics and many more sources.
Click the Search button on the right to begin searching.
For more information on the homestead records and to understand the results read below and the links at the bottom of this page for more information on these and other Alberta land records.
- SURNAME—is the last name of the individual
- Given Name—is the first and perhaps a middle name and / or initial(s)
- Sec.—section of land 1-36
- Twp.—township numbers 1-126, south to north
- Rge.—range numbers 1-30, east to west
- W_of the—West of the meridian. In Alberta, there are three meridians: 4th, 5th and 6th. View the map for placement.
- Place name—the town, village or hamlet of residence
- PAA Ref.—Provincial Archives of Alberta accession number
- Film—PAA microfilm number
- File—Homestead file number
Scope of the Index:
The Alberta Homestead Database was compiled by AGS volunteers transcribing the Applications for Alberta Land Patents, 1885‒1897, Alberta Homestead Records, 1870‒1930 and Alberta Homestead records, post-1930.
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