Thursday, 13 November 2014

Alberta Court Records for Family History - Maybe!

"Alberta’s court records reveal family history, mischief, murder and even the mundane, but only if you know where to look."
Law & Original Order: Discovering Alberta's Court Records is a new online exhibit - created by the Provincial Archives of Alberta that highlights their holdings of records created by Alberta's court system.

The exhibit aims to be "a practical research tool that provides access to the often-complicated world of (Civil, Criminal, Divorce, Probate and other) court records as well as an opportunity to learn about fascinating civil and criminal cases heard by the courts over the years."

Unfortunately with the exception of a few interesting cases all the records are in hard copy. Not even indexes, where they exist, are online. You need to know jurisdiction and court within the province and then find the case file number using indexes (where they exist). None of that is presently online - pity! And, you may have to go to the original courthouse to get a docket or case file number.

To localize the search you'd be well advised to start a searching in some of the other sources mentioned, for digitized newspapers,try Peel's Prairie Provinces and for local histories, try Our Roots.

While researching this I found that Peel's Prairie Provinces have recently added the St Albert Gazette (1949-53, 1964-79) to their digitized collection.

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