Sunday, 22 January 2012

Provincial Archives - Western Provinces

Carrying on from last week's post on Archives of the Maritime Provinces, we look at the Archives for the provinces to the West. Interestingly, these archives don't seem to be nearly as up to date in terms of being able to access digitised or even transcribed records online. Here's what is on offer:

Manitoba: http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/

This a particularly difficult site to navigate. I will provide you with a quick link to make your search less onerous and more productive than mine was.  Here is the direct link that will get you there immediately: http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/ The search fields are fairly straight forward. You can choose whether you want to search for a birth, marriage or death. Enter the surname field and if you choose, narrow the search by adding information into the Given Name, City and Year. Hit search and results will follow. When you get to the index (the list of "matches") click on the box to the right that says Detail View. This opens a new page with a raft of very good information. It is essentially a transcription and provides Last name, first name, date of birth, place of birth, name of hospital, duration of pregnancy in weeks, names and addresses of the parents, including mother's maiden name, marital status and the number of years the couple were married, number of live births and number of still births born to this mother. If you wanted to order the actual document, you could return to the index page and click on "add to cart". You need to return to the first search page, and scroll down to the bottom to access your cart and then to check out. Records cost $12 to order.

The Archives are located at

130-200 Vaughan St
Winnipeg, MB R3C 1T5
phone: 204-945-3971
e-mail: archives@gov.mb.ca

Saskatchewan: http://www.saskarchives.com/web/services-pub-family.html

Again, finding the search page is quite difficult. You can do a free search by visiting http://www.isc.ca/VitalStats/Pages/default.aspx. From this page, check the list on the left. Click on Genealogy. A new page opens. Click the line at the top that says Genealogy Index Searches. This will take you to a page similar to the page in Manitoba where you can enter details in the search fields. Surname, first name, place and year. Click search. An index will come up with the registration number, surname, first name,sex, date of birth, name of parents. If you want the actual document, you can order it by clicking the line that says add to the application form. This is the same idea as ordering through a "cart." You can view the items you have "ordered" by clicking the link at the top of the page. Mind bogglingly enough, a document costs $50. Hopefully it is gold-leafed and framed for that price.
The Archives are located at

3303 Hillsdale Street
Regina SK
Mailing address:
Saskatchewan Archives Board

P.O. Box 1665
Regina, SK, S4P 3C6
Phone: 306-787-4068
E-mail: is submitted through a special form on the website under "Contact Us"

Alberta: http://culture.alberta.ca/paa/

From this homepage, you can click on the button along the top that says "genealogists" and looks like an ahnentafel chart. Once on the genealogy page, you can perform a homestead search, a search of photographs, and faith organisations to see what church records are held at the archives. At the bottom of the page, you can click on Learn More About Genealogical Sources. This opens a new page with a number of quick links. The quick link for the vital statistics is: http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/VitalStatistics.cfm
This site does not allow online searches. You must send away for the information. The documents are $39.64
The Archives are located at:
8555 Roper Road
Edmonton, Alberta
T6E 5W1
Phone: (780) 427-1750


This is by far the easiest of the western provincial archives websites to navigate. Once on the home page, you can click on "genealogy" at the top of the page. On the new page that opens, there are pictures across the top and just below them is a link that says "search" On the next page, at the bottom of the first box (that asks what records you want to search in), click on the line that says "expand list of genealogy indexes" This will take you to the search box for the vital statistics. You can then choose from births (1872-1903), marriages (1872-1936), colonial marriages (1859-1872), deaths (1872-1991) and baptisms (1836-1888). Or you can choose all genealogy indexes. The right side of the screen contains a box with the search fields - surname, given name, place and year. The search results page will give you the name, date, place and registration number of the event. You can order the documents on microfilm.
The Archives are located at
BC Archives
675 Belleville Street

Victoria BC V8W 9W2
Phone: 250-387-1952

Happy Searching!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the quick and easy guide to the West! As I live in BC I've had no difficulty finding copies of original documents at our downtown library in Vancouver. I've been putting off Manitoba (my ex-husband's family) but now, I think I'll get started - didn't realize it would be relatively easy. Very helpful post.

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