Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Ancestry adds Alberta, Canada, Homestead Records, 1870-1930

Was your ancestor part of the flood of settlers to Alberta? This new Ancestry database contains 1,622,218 images and 206,457 records showing basic biographical information for those seeking land patents such as applicants’ name, age, place of birth, occupation, former place of residence, date of entry on the land and marital status.
There's a nice search engine with lots of fields including section, township, range and meridian. That gives you the ability to look at the demographics of settlement, perhaps the neighbours of your settler family.
If you're looking to pinpoint the settlement location on a map try entering the legal land description at

Ancestry point out the following notable people in this database:

o   Born in Scotland, George Murdoch became the first Mayor of Calgary in 1884. He applied for a homestead in Calgary, Alberta in 1886.

o   George Clift King was born in England, arriving in Alberta in 1875. He later become the second Mayor of Calgary in 1886 and applied for a homestead Calgary, Alberta in 1890.

o   Adrian Albert Dick applied for a homestead in Springbank, Alberta 1899. He and his wife survived the Titanic sinking in 1912 while on their honeymoon, and returned to Alberta.

The originals records are sourced from the University of Alberta.


Gail Roger said...

My late mother-in-law, who herself was born and grew up on her father's homestead in Alberta, was acquainted with Mrs AA Dick. Walter Lord, noted for his meticulous book on the Titanic "A Night to Remember", wrote in a later book that Mrs Dick was one of the Titanic survivors partially responsible for the story that the Titanic's band played "Nearer My God To Thee" as the ship sank. He also laid out the facts that indicate how unlikely this enduring legend is.

Brian Glenn said...

Lets hope Ancestry does Saskatchewan next!

Jean said...

John, could you please post a link to the database? I can't find it using various searches on search by location; card catalogue search, etc. Many thanks.

JDR said...

Ancestry informs there was a last minute technical glitch. The database is now live at

Unknown said...

Hi Viewers,

With Ancestry’s recent announcement in launching the AB Homestead Collection, the Alberta Genealogical Society would like viewers to seriously compare the scope of the two indexes. Ancestry’s index is has a minimal listing of approximately 207,000 records, whereas the Alberta Genealogical Society has in their combined database over 520,000 entries.

The AGS all name homestead index for 1870 to post-1930, lists those applying for land patents between 1885 and 1897; those who completed the homesteading process and eventually obtained a title; those who applied but abandoned their homesteads; and other individuals whose name appears in the files for a variety of reasons—something the Library and Archives of Canada nor Ancestry has done.

We invite everyone to view the AGS databases which have twice as many records, and twice the knowledge over the record index at
Thank you, Lyn Meehan, AGS Communications.