Tuesday 27 June 2017

Genealogy in the Park October 28, 2017

Save the Date

Genealogy in the Park presents

Dave Obee
Genealogist, Author and Journalist
Saturday October 28, 2017

We are very happy to welcome Dave back to Sherwood Park!

**Registration Closes October 25th**

October 11, 2017 - We are close to capacity.
Contact Shannon or Tammy ASAP to ensure you do not miss this wonderful opportunity.
Thank you!

Saturday 1 April 2017

Follow up to release of Alberta historical vital statistics indexes/registers

I have busy ordering registration documents during the last week and 1/2. How could I not? It's a genealogist's dream to have access to these valuable bits of history!

A few hints and tips from what I learned about the indexes in Alberta and access to them:

1. In scanning the typewritten death indexes, it's quite common that a handwritten entry or more are placed at the end of every year. There's no doubt that your "cntrl f" function will not read the handwriting, be sure to scroll and review all the pages for an accurate search.

2.  If you are ordering numerous registrations online, order all of them one after the other, preferably all before 3:00 pm Mon-Friday. If you order them separately, then, they are separate requests and you may be charged the mailing fee for each request.

3.  If you live in the Edmonton area, and are planning a visit to the Reading Room at the PAA, order the registrations online and click on "request to view at PAA in Reading Room". You will receive an email when they are ready for you.

Important: The maximum amount of photocopies, of any type, to receive the same day at the PAA is limited to approximately 12 pages. If the number of pages you need goes over the in-house limit, they will be photocopied in queue, and they will call you when they are ready, or pay the mailing fee to have them mailed out to you.

4. I searched for my Uncle Gerald in Google today (after a hint from a dear friend of mine).
"Switzer, Gerald" 1954
is exactly what I typed in.  The #8 hit, took me directly to the Deaths pdf online at the PAA. Over time, it will be easy for Google to pick up the typed words in the indexes. The handwritten entries? Probably not. Nothing searches better than your own two eyes.

I live within 20 minutes of the Provincial Archives of Alberta. It's been interesting (and fun!) to view the original registrations in person. If you live in the area, please do visit the PAA. There are so many genealogy resources there to help you in your research.

One ah ha! moment for me:
In my review of relative's vital statistic death registrations, a few of the causes of death were not a surprise. To see it in writing helped confirm the stories I was told by my Dad.  One that caught me off-guard was an 9 year old relative died from falling over a log and scraping her knee. She ended up with sepsis. How sad that something so "every-day", seemingly easy to treat nowadays, back then took this little one's life. This one document really cemented for me what family research is all about, honoring those that have gone before, understanding their trials and tribulations, and bringing their stories to life.

Have any tips or comments to share? Would love to hear from you,

Monday 20 March 2017

Historical Vital Statistics in Alberta

Vital Statistics Alberta

For years, the question has been asked:
"When is Alberta going to get historical vital statistics online?"

The time is now! 
The Provincial Archives of Alberta has digitized vital statistics indexes and or registers and are now available online.

Under current legislation, registration documents are available publicly:
  • birth records that are 120 years or older*;
  • marriage records that are 75 years or older* 
  • death records that are 50 years or older* 
  • stillbirth records that are 75 years or older* 

  •                                                                          *from the date of the event

    Indexes are now available online for you to view at the Provincial Archives of Alberta website http://provincialarchives.alberta.ca/
    under "How To" then "Find Birth Marriage and Death Records"

    Words of Advice
    ➦ Many of the older indexes are alphabetical by the first letter, then alphabetical by the first vowel.
    For example: 
                        Brown would be found under "Bo"
                        Smith would be found under "Si"
    There are a few exception. I found "Be" surnames in the "Bo" section. Human error, it happened then, it happens now, it will always happen. 

    Information about the registers
    ➦Prior to 1917, letters were used in place of the year

    up to
    II / III

    Once you find the registration you are looking for, write down the following information (you will need it later):
    • Registration Number
    • Event type
    • Year
    • Surname, Given name
    • Place
    In some registers, there is a column for year born and beside it 'pr". The year born column speaks for itself. The province born column uses numbers to represent province/country born. 

    I share with you what I learned from other genealogists over the last 15 years:


    21 - England
    23 - Ireland*
    24 - Scotland
    25 - Wales
    26 - Jersey Channel Islands* 

    33 - 
    35 - 36 - 
    37 - 

    41 - USA
    45 - 

    52 - Austria*
    53 - Belgium*
    54 - Bulgaria
    55 - Czechoslovakia
    56 - Denmark
    57 - 
    58 - Finland
    59 - France

    60 - Germany*
    61 - 
    62 - Netherlands
    63 - Hungary*
    64 - Iceland
    65 - Italy
    66 - 
    68 - Norway
    69 - Galicia *Austria or Ukraine

    71 - Bukovina
    73 - Scandinavia / Sweden*
    74 - Switzerland
    76 - Luxembourg
    77 - USSR

    [*additions to the above list made June 27, 2017, with thanks to Donald K.]

    Over time, when people share what they know the list above can become more complete. I encourage you to contact me and share your findings of what the other numbers stand for. alberta.research2@gmail.com

    ➦be patient, wait for the files to load, they are HUGE files. 

    ➦If you used "ctrl f" to find surnames on the PDF forms and no result was found, review the names line by line. Always be diligent about reviewing forms manually to ensure a complete search has been done. OCR is good but not always reliable.

    Remember that information you wrote down? Now you are ready to order the registration document by clicking on the "Vital Stats request form" button.

    Cost per photocopy: 35¢ 
    Seriously, 35¢ !!!
    Have it mailed to you 
    $3.00 (in Canada) 
    $6.00 (outside of Canada)
    (see below)

    It's a great day for genealogists! Alberta vital statistics for genealogical purposes online. Wonderful!!

    I don't know about you, but I will be busy for the next little while.

    Update: September 27, 2019 costs and services of ordering vital statistic records through the PAA has changed.
    Digital Scans: $5.25  sent by e-mail when complete
    Photocopy 79¢ sent through Canada Post
    Shipping costs remain the same