A biography is an oral or written history of a person's life. In a written biography you may find the individual's birth, marriage, and death information as well as the names of their parents, children, or other family members. Additionally information may be found to narrow the search for homestead records and immigration records such as passenger lists. From the dates in the biography, it can be determined which census to peruse for additional information. Use the information contained in a biography carefully because there may be inaccuracies.
You Can Use this Record to Find...
- Birth Information
- Marriage Information
- Death Information
- Land and Property
- Census Information
- Military Information
Thousands of biographies have been written about specific individuals. Copies may be at local historical societies and libraries. Lists of published individual biographies are available at your public library.
Don't forget to try searching the library for biographical books Surname Search of the Family History Library Catalog under the individual's name. Also contact other family members for unpublished life histories they may know of.
Thousands of brief biographical sketches have been collected and published in local history books. These collections most often include biographies of early settlers and prominent or well-known citizens of a particular rural municipality, village, school district or town. The Family History Library has acquired some community local history books. Other almanacs feature biographical sketches of prominent persons such as scientists, writers, artists, or other vocations.
Collections of biographies at the Family History Library are generally listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under one of the following:
- Alberta - Bibliography
- Alberta - Biography - Dictionaries
- Alberta - Biography - Indexes
- Alberta - Biography
Provincial and Municipal Sources
The public and university libraries have collections of local history books. The information services departments carry indexes of national and regional compilations of biographical material, Who's Who. The librarians can assist you in finding additional biographical sources listed in such bibliographies as:
Local history books may be purchased from the local historical society which compiled the volume or by contacting the rural municipality administrator for more information. Biographical collections submitted to local history societies by family members. These books may also contain cemetery transcriptions and those who served in the great wars. The information in these books includes both those residents who are prominent and the local resident and may not be available in any other source.
Local libraries and historical societies usually collect biographies and histories about local residents. Directories have been published indexing the bibliographical information of these books, and there are a few bibliographies using these sources published online. Additionally, Our Roots Nos Racines has received permission to publish a few online. Similarly in some cases, local communities and rural municipalities have placed their books online if they are not going into re-print. The Alberta Gen Web has indexed quite a few of these books online Alberta GenWebs Local History Book Index
Important Web Sites
- Canadian People -- A compilaton of prominent Canadian People, Western Canada sections are online.
- Cyndi's List - Biographies
- Our Roots / Nos Racines Online digitization project of local history books.
- Advanced Book Search Google books contains digitized Alberta history books.