Alberta Church Records, Roman Catholic, and United (National Institute)
The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Research: Alberta Ancestors by Arlene Borgstede. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Church Records (Continued)
Roman Catholic - Oblates of Mary Immaculate
Missionaries of the Oblate order established missions and churches throughout the province. Many of these remain under Oblate jurisdiction and some of their records are retained as part of the Oblate Collection. Churches still in use may hold their records or they may have been added to the Oblate Collection held by the Provincial Archives of Alberta or the Archdiocesan Chancery Office.
Much of the material generated by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Province of Alberta-Saskatchewan, has been deposited in the Provincial Archives of Alberta. This province extends from the British Columbia border east to Manitoba and from the U.S border to 55 degrees north. Prior to 1921, the area was part of the Vicariate of St. Boniface and included the Dioceses of St. Albert, Saskatchewan and Athabasca Mackenzie. The Oblate collection contains administrative records from parishes and personal papers of the clergy as well as some birth, marriage and death registers. Also included in the collection are the Liber Animarum, or Book of Souls.
In many of the early parishes the priest kept a record of the family, a history giving names, dates of births and deaths, sometimes marriage partners of the children, etc. In some cases these books are an excellent source of genealogical information; in others they are incomplete or were sporadically kept. The Codices Historici are parish diaries kept by the priest. There may be references to parishioners but they are often few and far between. Also in the collection are some parish census.
To determine what is available for each mission or parish, check the published guide. Much of the Oblate material is in French so a working knowledge of the language is necessary. Permission to access some the records within the collection may have to be obtained from the Oblate Archivist.
Archdiocese of Edmonton
The Archdiocese of Edmonton was formed in 1912 when the vast St. Albert Diocese was divided up. It spans the province east to west from just north of Edmonton and south to include Innisfail.
A recent ruling by the Archbishop of Edmonton has made all parish records off limits to the public. To access a baptism, marriage or death from the early Oblate registers (1842-1860) ask to consult the index card file at the Provincial Archives of Alberta. Using the information given a request can then be made to the Archdiocesan Chancery Office.
The public is not allowed access to the records, however written requests and searches will be undertaken if possible.
- The Chancellor
Edmonton Archdiocese Chancery Office
8421 - 101 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6A 0L1
Telephone: (780) 469-1010
Petitioners are requested to make their inquiries specific and provide as much identifying data as possible. A self-addressed stamped envelope would be appreciated. There is no charge for the service however donations are accepted.
Diocese of Calgary
The Calgary Diocese was formed in November 1912, from the former Diocese of St. Albert. It includes the entire southern part of the province from just north of Calgary.
- Catholic Pastoral Centre
120 - 17 Avenue Southwest Calgary,
Alberta T2S 2T2
Telephone: (403) 218-5500
It is recommended that the parish church be contacted first, if known. Baptismal records at the Chancery Office have been computerized and searches can be requested by telephone or in person. Records predate formation of the diocese in 1912. Marriages and burials are being added to the database.
Diocese of St. Paul
Diocese of St. Paul, formerly part of the Edmonton Archdiocese, was established in August 1948. It is comprised of a 90 mile strip which spans the province from just north of Edmonton, but includes a narrow strip which extends north along the eastern side of the province.
- Chancery Office
4410 -51 Avenue
St. Paul, Alberta T0A 3A2
Telephone: (780) 645-3277
All baptisms and confirmations have been computerized and copies can be obtained for a feeper certificate (prepaid). Marriages and burials are being added to the database, working back. Lengthy family searches will be undertaken at a per hour fee. Personal searches are not usually allowed.
Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan
The area covering the north-west corner of the province was part of the Vicariate of the Athabasca from 1862 to 1927, when it became the Vicariate of Grouard. It was named an Archdiocese in 1967.
- Archdiocesan Office
P.O. Box 388
McLennan, Alberta T0H 2L0
Telephone: (780) 324-3002
The birth, marriage and death records are considered private, but some access is allowed. Requests by mailed will be answered, however the reason for the request must be stated (treaty rights, upcoming marriage, genealogical). As much information as possible on the individuals should be included. Searches are done foran hourly fee ; certificates are issuedfor a fee , payable in advance. Contact the archives for the current fee. Most records are in French.
MacKenzie-Fort Smith Diocese
A small square portion of north east Alberta is included in the Diocese of MacKenzie-Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories. The only Alberta community within the diocese is Fort Chipewyan. The diocese was formed in 1967.
- Chancellor and Archivist
P.O. Bag 8900, 5117 - 52 Street
Yellowknife, North West Territories X1A 1T7
Telephone: (867) 920-2129
Ukrainian Eparchy of Edmonton
This district of the Ukrainian Church was established in November 1956 and includes all of the province of Alberta.
- Chancery Office
9645 108 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 1A3
Telephone: (780) 424-5496
The Chancery Office has all baptisms for Ukrainian parishes on a database. It is requested that all inquiries be made by mail. A self-addressed stamped envelope and a donation would be appreciated. Marriages and burials must be obtained from the parish church.
In early Ukrainian settlement, before local churches were available, many birth, marriage and death were done at St. Josaphat’s Church in Edmonton or at St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Mundare.
- St. Josaphat’s Cathedral
10825 - 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 2M4
Telephone: (780) 422-3181
No fee charged but a donation would be appreciated
- St. Peter and St. Paul Church
P.O. Box 379
Mundare, Alberta TAB 3H0
:Searches will be done for a fee
|To determine information on Catholic churches in all dioceses including the Ukrainian Eparchy, consult the Alberta Catholic Directory printed yearly and available at most parish offices.|
The United Church of Canada is the union of Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Church which took place in 1925. In 1968 the Canadian Conference, Evangelical Brethren Church joined. The Alberta and Northwest Conference is the administrative body of the United Church in Alberta. It is made up of nine presbyteries: Calgary, Coronation, Edmonton, Foothills, Northern Lights, Red Deer, Southern Alberta, St. Paul and Yellowhead. Within each presbytery are a number of congregations. To determine the location of a specific church, consult the United Church of Canada Year Book available at most United Churches.
Most United Churches deposit all but their most recent records at the Provincial Archives of Alberta on an ongoing basis. Besides registers of birth, marriage and death, all administrative records, including correspondence, accounts, clergy rolls, records of educational institutions and hospitals, records of presbyteries and of the United Church Women are deposited.
Collection records date from 1853 and include records of the Presbyterian Church (1887-1925), Methodist (1863-1925) and Congregational (1910-1912) Churches.
A published guide A Guide to the Archives of the United Church of Canada—Alberta and Northwest Conference (1991) will assist researchers in finding information. Further assistance can be obtain by contacting:
- Alberta Conference Office
8555 Roper Rd. Edmonton, Alberta T6E 5W1
Telephone: (780) 427-8687
Hours: An appointment is recommended
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Alberta Ancestors
offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at email@example.com
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