Alberta Church Records
Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Canadian denomations, view the Canada Church Records wiki page.
The earliest denominations, Wesleyan Methodists and Roman Catholics, came into Alberta in the 1840s. They were followed by the Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Latter-day Saints. The Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists combined in 1925 to form the United Church of Canada.
To assist the churches in preserving their records, the government of Alberta has made several agreements with them, designating the Provincial Archives of Alberta as the official repository for these records.
The Provincial Archives at http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/preserving/paa_2002/accessing_the_holdings/ holds the records for three Anglican dioceses (160 parishes): the Diocese of Edmonton (1889–1981), the Diocese of Athabasca (1874–1982), and the Diocese of Mackenzie River (1859–1966). These records include registers of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, as well as confirmations, minutes, newsletters, Bishop’s correspondence, property records, and other related material. The Diocese of Calgary records are located in the Special Collections Library of the University of Calgary.
The Provincial Archives also holds the Catholic records for the Religious Orders of Les Oblates de Marie Immaculée (129 parishes, 1842–1981), Les Soeurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte Vierge (1869–1973), the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (1849–1980), the Sisters of Providence (1886–1978), the Soeurs Grises/Grey Nuns (1877-1967), and the Immaculée-Conception Parish, Edmonton (1905–1981). These records include registers of baptisms, marriages, burials, and communions, as well as historical information concerning events and individuals in the parishes. Many of these records are in French.
The Provincial Archives also holds the United Church of Canada records for the Alberta Conference (1853–1982). Included are the records of the three denominations which united in 1925 to form this church: Congregational records (1910–1912), Methodist records (1863–1925), and Presbyterian records (1887–1925). Eighty-six pastoral congregations are represented. These records include some baptisms, marriages, burials, clergy rolls, hospital records, accounts, and correspondence.
The Provincial Archives has only recently undertaken to preserve the records of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (Alberta Synod), but no information on their content is yet available.
The Provincial Archives also holds records of some congregations of Western Canada Synod, Lutheran Church in America from 1898–1983 (76 congregations), which include registers of baptisms, marriages, burials, and confirmations, as well as church minutes, synod newsletters, correspondence, and accounts.