There are many listings of the cemetery records of Alberta compiled by the Alberta Genealogical Society published in its magazine Bulletin. Most of these listings are indexed.
Online Cemetery Websites
Many groups and organisations are working on transcriptions, photographs and video recording of these cemeteries.
Some of the cemetery records have been compiled by the Genealogical Society of Alberta. Many are in manuscript form at the Provincial Archives of Alberta and at the Alberta Genealogical Society 162, 14315 - 118 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5L 4S6 Phone: 780-424-4429
- Alberta Family Histories Society ~ Home AFHS Alberta Cemetery Database containing close to 169,000 records. Also available on DVD.
- Alberta Genealogical Society ~ Master Surname Database
- Alberta Family History Society Cemetery Indexes
- http://www.interment.net/can/ab/index.htm Alberta cemeteries
- Alberta cemeteries at RootsWeb
- Queens Park Cemetery, Calgary Calgary Cemeteries BillionGraves
- City of Edmonton online cemetery search
- Cemeteries: Lethbridge Branch of Alberta Genealogical Society
- Cemetery information and locations
- Queens Park Cemetery, Calgary BillionGraves
- City of Edmonton online cemetery search
- Lethbridge Cemeteries: Lethbridge Branch of Alberta Genealogical Society indexed cemeteries
- Medicine Hat Hillside Cemetery
- Medicine Hat Saamis Prairie View Cemetery
- Cemetery information and locations
- Cyndi's Cyndis List - Cemeteries & funeral homes
- Findagrave.com Find a grave
- Canada Gen Web Alberta Cemetery Project
- Search online by city, town or rural municipality name for additional online cemetery transcriptions.
Locating a cemetery in Alberta may be possible through the Department of Municipal Affairs. All cemeteries should be registered with this department, however, older sites, perhaps abandoned before legislation was put into place, may not appear on their lists. Active and inactive cemeteries are listed alphabetically by municipal district, however this does not necessarily mean by name of town or city.
Department of Municipal Affairs
- Department of Municipal Affairs
Housing and Consumers Affairs Division
16th Floor, Commerce Building
10155 - 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L4
Telephone: (780) 427-2732
Hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 am-4:30 pm
Several branches of the Alberta Genealogical Society, the Alberta Families History Society and individuals have, for many years, transcribed cemeteries. The Alberta Genealogical Society has printed transcriptions for over 1,500 active and inactive cemeteries, while the Alberta Family History Society has about 25 from the south central part of the province. The Alberta Genealogical Society has put their information on a computer data base and on microfiche, available at the Alberta Genealogical Society library. A search will be done and a printout provided at a cost. Publications can be purchased from The Alberta Genealogical Society or the Alberta Family History Society. Costs vary.
- Calgary Municipal Cemeteries Administrative Office
3219 - 4 Street North West
Calgary, Alberta T2M 3A6
Telephone: (403) 221-3660
Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 am-12:00 pm; 1:00 pm-4:30 pm
The office will take one or two requests by telephone: for more than two requests, please write. The full name of the person is required: date of death, even approximate, and the name of the cemetery would assist in the search. Records are held for city owned cemeteries and are being put on computer. Information available in early records will often only include the name of the person buried and the location of the grave. Later records may give a birth or death date or an age at time of death. The funeral home is available in most entries.
St. Mary’s Church Rectory (403) 228-4170 holds the records of their burials before 1945. Three privately owned cemeteries maintain their own records, and can be contacted by calling:
- Rockyview (403) 285-0660
- Mountain View (403) 272-9824
- Eden Brook (403) 217-3700
- Rural municipality maps
- Early Rural municipality maps, Cummins maps and atlases
- Rural municipality and town histories
- Land records: deeds, scrip and homesetads
- Government officials
- Church officials
- Mortuary & Funeral directors
- Local historians
- Local history books
- Online search for cemetery name
- Information gained from obituaries, death certificates, mortuary funeral cards
- The Family History Library has cemetery records listed in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under [PROVINCE], [TOWN] - Cemeteries
Funeral directors in the area where your ancestors lived may have records similar to death and cemetery records. Funeral Homes are listed in online telephone directories.
Cemetery records may include an internment record. This record may contain as much information as the cause of death, person making the funeral arrangements and some time periods.
The Family History Library has a few cemetery records listed in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under the following:
- Alberta - Cemeteries - History
- Alberta - Cemeteries - Indexes - Periodicals
- Alberta - Cemeteries - Indexes
- Alberta - Cemeteries - Inventories, registers, catalogs
- Alberta - Cemeteries
- Alberta - Church history - Biography
- Alberta - Church history - Periodicals
- Alberta - Church history
- Alberta - Church records - Inventories, registers, catalogs - Indexes
- Alberta - Church records - Inventories, registers, catalogs
Calgary and Edmonton Catholic Cemeteries
Two older Catholic Cemeteries, St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s, (both full) are administered through the City of Calgary. More recent burials are at Holy Family and Good Shepherd Cemeteries, both administered by Memorial Gardens Cemeteries, headquartered in Toronto. To access information on burials in the latter two cemeteries, contact
- Good Shepherd Cemetery
17th Avenue South East at Garden Road
P.O. Box 0, Site 17, R.R. #7
Calgary, Alberta T2P 2G7
Telephone: (403) 272-9824
Requests can be made in person, by mail or by telephone; no fees
- Edmonton Municipal Cemeteries
c/o Beechmont Cemetery
12420 - 104 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5G 2M1
Telephone: (780) 442-0974
Requests can be made in person or by mail. Information is filed by name, alphabetically and when making requests by mail, dates of death (at least year) will be helpful in cases of similar names. There is a cost for search; there is no cost for searches done in person. Information will include name, date of burial, funeral home and grave location. No next-of-kin is recorded.
Records of persons who died within the last 25 years, is protected under Freedom of Information Act. However, Edmonton Cemeteries has put the records of people interred in municipal cemeteries more than 25 years ago on-line. (close to 60,000 people) To search, download a file and use the Edit/Find command in the browser to search for a specific name.
- Edmonton Catholic Cemeteries'
For Holy Cross, St. Albert and St. Joachim
Telephone: (780) 447-2921
For Our Lady of Peace and St. Anthony
Telephone: (780) 454-4453
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Searches for up to three names can be done in person or by telephone. For over three names, requests should be made by mail or fax. A self-addressed, stamped envelope would be appreciated. There is no charge.
Burials prior to 1980 offer sparse information: date of purchase, name of interred, date of burial. Records are computerized after 1980 and contain name, date of birth, death and burial, purchaser’s name and funeral home. Records, beginning with the first burials, are being added to the computer.
Types of cemetery records
Types of care for Human Burial: earth burial, cremation, sea burial, entombment, donation to science, and cryogenic. Several types of cemetery records are available. Rural public cemeteries are under the infrastructure administration of the rural municipality, and urban public cemeteries by the local civic government (city hall). Caretakers or cemetery maintainence committees are usually appointed by the municipal government. Churches maintain church yards, and private land owners maintain homesteader burial sites.
The municipal government may have kept internment records of the names and dates of those buried and maps of the burial plots in public cemeteries. Some churches have kept burial records that may give birth, marriage and other family or health details. Tombstones or gravestones may also exist, or the information on them may have been transcribed. In Alberta many local organisations are working at photographing, video taping and transcribing the cemeteries.
Cemetery burial records, sometimes called internment records, often include birth, marriage, and death information. These records along with symbols on a gravestone may provide clues about military service, religion, or membership in an organization, such as a lodge. These records are especially helpful for identifying children who died young or women who were not recorded in family or government documents. Visit the cemetery in person to see if other relatives are in the same or adjoining plots.
To find tombstone or cemetery records you need to determine where an individual was buried. The person may have been buried in a community, church, private, military, or family cemetery, usually near the place where he lived or died or where other family members were buried. You can find clues to burial places in local history books, funeral notices, obituaries, church records, funeral home records, death records, scrip and homestead land records.
- Alberta Biographies in local history books often provide excellent clues as to the locality which people resided in. Indexes to these books is provided by the Alberta Gen Web.
- Land and Property Records are online for Alberta in terms of both scrip for First Nations and Metis persons and Dominion land patent records and applications for homesteaders. Where a person lived and farmed is often a clue to locate the cemetery near this locality.
Types of Cemeteries
- Government: town, rural municipality, provincial and national
- Military: There are over 37 overseas cemeteries and memorials, for soldiers who died during service to their country. There are over 60,000 graves overseas of soldiers who died serving in World War I.
- Family or private:
Sources for cemetery records
- The present sexton, funeral home, rural municipality or city municipal government may have the burial registers and the records of the burial plots.
- The Alberta Genealogy Society, and its branches may have the records or can help you locate obscure family plots or relocated cemeteries. Similarly local library, historical society, or local historian may assist in locating burial sites.
- Sextons' records and transcripts of tombstone information that have been published, often in local genealogical periodicals.
- Lists of soldiers' graves
Cenotaph: engraved on a tombstone indicates an empty grave, with the stone erected in memory or in honor of a person buried elsewhere. Abbreviations are often used on headstones. A list of abbreviations, including military abbreviations, is available at GRAVE SYMBOLS: Abbreviations on Gravestones and Historic Australian Cemeteries - Key to Symbols and Rituals Used in Cemeteries
You can find the addresses of Alberta's cemeteries in the listing provided by the Alberta Genealogy Society which lists cemeteries. Alberta Family Histories Society : Alberta Death Records Cemeteries
- Borgstede, Arlene. "Alberta Cemeteries (National Institute)," National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012), https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alberta_Cemeteries_%28National_Institute%29.
Some sections adapted from United States Cemeteries