- March 2001
by Cathy Mayhood, Calgary
The genealogy collection is located in the Humanities Department
on the fourth floor of the W.R. Castell (Central) Library. The materials
are mainly reference (i.e., to be used in the library only). This
is an introduction to the genealogy collection. Further information
can be found through the online public catalogue (OPAC) or through
the catalogue on the library's
The web sites mentioned below can be found through the Genealogy
Links in the Recommended
Links on the library's homepage. The focus is mainly on Canadian
The Public Library has many guide books for helping with family
history research. These are useful for those just starting out in
genealogy or for those needing "how-to's" of a more specific or
advanced nature. See the 'Genealogy Guide Books' handout for some
suggestions. These may be borrowed from the library (unless indicated
as reference with an R).
The genealogy links on the library's homepage also has a beginner's
Atlases, Maps, Gazetteers
- Post Offices of Canada 1755-1895 (R
- Smith's Canadian Gazetteer, 1846 (R
- Place Names of Ontario (R 917.13 CAR)
- Historical County Atlases (R 911)
- Cummins Rural Directory Maps, 1923 (Microfilm 61)
Biographical/ Heraldic Dictionaries
The library has both national and international biographical dictionaries.
- Who's Who in Canada (R 920.071 WHO)
- Canadian Who's Who (R 920.071 CAN)
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography (R
- Who's Who in America (R 920.073 WHO)
- Who Was Who in America (R 920.073
- Who's Who (R 920.041 WHO)
- Dictionary of National Biography (R
- Debrett's (R 929.72 DEB)
- Burke's (R 929.72 BUR
- Riestap's Armorial General (R 929.82
CPL carries bibliographies specific to genealogy.
Some are for family histories:
- Genealogies in the Library of Congress (R
- The Annotated Bibliography of Genealogical Works in Canada
(R 929.371 MEN)
Some are for local histories:
- Local Histories of Alberta: an Annotated Bibliography
(R 971.230016 ALB)
- Alberta's Local Histories in the Historical Resources Library
(R 971.23 PRO 1986)
- Bibliography of Ontario History (R
- Local Histories of Ontario Municipalities, 1951-1977: a
Bibliography (R 971.30016 AIT)
Many library catalogues (for example, The National
Library of Canada or The Library
of Congress) can now be checked via the Internet for local or
family histories. The Alberta
GenWeb site has a link to an Alberta
Local History Book Project; as well the Alberta
Family Histories Society has compiled a place-name index to
local histories that is available through their homepage.
We have local histories for Alberta and county histories for the
- Botha Memories (R 971.233 BOT)
- History of the County of Lennox & Addington (971.359
- History of the County of Guysborough, Nova Scotia (971.621
The Directories section of the Business, Science & Social Sciences
Department has current phone books from around the world and current
city directories for most of the major Canadian cities. Many phone
lists can also be searched through the Internet.
As well, each subject department has a variety of useful directories,
such as those listing association or government addresses.
The Local History Room has older city directories and phone books.
The collection also has many corporate directories, for example
Key Contacts Directory.
A specific genealogical directory called the Genealogical Research
Directory (R 929.1025 JOH) is available in
Humanities. Similar information can be found on the Internet through
surname links offered by many genealogy web sites.
The Canadian Census is available on microfilm in the Humanities
Department. The latest release is 1901. We have only the Canadian
census. Calgary Public Library does not borrow through Interlibrary
Loans for the census returns for other countries but refers the
customer to the LDS (Mormon) Family History Centre.
A few Canadian census indexes may be found on the Internet, for
example, the Index to the 1871
Census of Ontario, the PEI
1891 Census, and some Alberta census information found through
Alberta GenWeb site. For others, check the various provincial web
sites as new information is constantly being added. [Webster's note:
don't be shy to use the AFHS's Canadian
Genealogical Projects Registry to find census materials for
CPL has the index to the Alberta Homestead Records (Micro
film 62), Cummins Alberta Rural Directory Maps 1923 (Microfilm
61), and the Ontario Archives Land Records Index (Microfiche
R 929.3713 ARC).
Some indexes are available via the Internet, for example, the Upper
and Lower Canada Land Petitions, and the New
Brunswick original land grants (Cadastral Database).
Ships' Passenger Lists
Canadian Ships' passenger lists covering the years 1865 to 1920
are available on microfilm in the Humanities Department. This series
of microfilms also includes the Border Entry Records from the United
States into Canada and The Board of Guardians Register covering
Passenger lists, 1920-1935, can be borrowed through Interlibrary
Loans from the National Archives. A list of available microfilms
can be found on the National Archives web site or in the Ships'
List binder in Humanities.
Information on passenger arrivals after 1935 must be obtained through
the Department of Immigration.
Check out the InGeneas and
Place web sites on the genealogy link for useful Canadian immigration
Humanities also has Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists
Index (R 929.373 PAS) as well as many other
books on passenger lists both for Canada and the United States.
Vital Statistics/Compiled Lists
Humanities has many published lists of births, marriages and deaths
records that are often compiled from a prior source, most often
- Death Notices of Ontario (R 929.3713 REI)
- Central Canadians, 1600 - 1900, 3 Vol. (R 929.371
- The French Canadians, 1600-1900, 3 Vol. (R
- Index of English Immigrants Based on Obituaries and Death Notices
in Prince Edward Island Newspapers, 1835-1910 (R
- Index of Marriage & Death Notices from Manitoba (929.37127 IND)
- Loyalist Lineages of Canada, 1783-1983, 3 Vol. (R
- Nova Scotia Vital Statistics from Newspapers (R
- Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers (R
Vital records are also starting to appear on the internet, for
example the British Columbia birth, marriage and death records are
searchable through the BC
Vital Statistics web site.
Many cemetery lists can be found through the Internet, either through
one of the genealogy associations or one of the web sites, such
as Cyndi's. As well, newspapers
are now starting to list their obituaries online. These can also
be found through genealogical associations' links.
Periodicals and Newspapers
The Public Library subscribes to various genealogical magazines.
We keep the current four issues in the Humanities Department with
all back issues in the Magazines and Newspapers Department in the
basement. Humanities is now lending out back copies of Everton's
Genealogical Helper. Newspapers not subscribed to by the library
can be borrowed from another library though it is necessary to check
the Union List of Canadian Newspapers (R
071.10016 NAT 1991).
Local History Collection
The Local History Room is located in the Humanities Department.
It is a special reference collection in which you will find material
relating to all aspects of the history of Calgary, Alberta and Western
Canada. Of particular interest to genealogists are Alberta local
histories (971.233), Calgary city directories (917.123 HEN) and
phone books (384.60971 CAL), Index to the Alberta Homestead Records
(Microfilm 62), and Alberta cemetery listings (929.509712). To assist
in locating this material, a binder Local History: Genealogy Sources
can be checked and as well, a more detailed handout on genealogy
sources in this collection is available.
There are several other organizations in Calgary and Alberta that
have collections to assist you in your further research.
- The Alberta Family Histories
Phone: (403) 214-1447
P.O. Box 30270, Stn. B
Calgary, AB T2M 4P1
- The Church of Jesus Christ of
Phone: (403) 571-3700
Family History Centre
2021 - 17 Ave. S.W.
Calgary, AB T2T 0G2
- American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Calgary
91 Penworth Cr. S.E.
Calgary, AB T2Z 4C8
- The Glenbow Library and Archives
130 - 9 Ave. S.E.
Calgary, AB T2G 0P3
Archives (403) 268-4204
Library (403) 268-4197
Provincial Archives of Alberta
Toll free 310-0000
12845 - 102 Ave.
Edmonton, AB T5N 0M6
- Ukrainian Genealogical & Historical Society of Canada
R.R. # 2,
Cochrane, AB T0L 0W0
- The University of
Phone: (403) 220-5962
The University of Calgary
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
- The main national collection is in Ottawa
Library and Archives of Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N3
The genealogy reference collection is located in the Humanities
Department of the W.R. Castell (Central) Library (403.260.2785).
Handbooks - basic "how-to's" and specific or advanced ones for
country or source
- In Search of Your Canadian Roots
- Sleuth Book for Genealogists
- Your English Ancestry: A guide for North Americans
- American Passenger Arrival Records
- Canadian Census microfilm reels to 1901
- Selected indexes to the census
Ships' Passenger Lists
- Canadian official ports of entry, 1865 - 1919
- Border entry lists, 1908 - 1919
- Child Immigration Indexes
- Filby's Immigration and Passenger Lists Index
- Alberta Homestead Records Index
- Ontario Archives Land Records Index
- Ontario Historical Atlases
Vital Records/Compiled Lists - Calgary Public Library specializes
in Canadian materials
- Loyalists lists
- Series: Atlantic, Central, French and Western Canadians.
- Ontario county marriage registers indexes
- Quebec records: Jette and Tanquay
- Vital Statistics from newspapers
- Alberta Cemetery Recordings
- Calgary Phone Books , 1903 -
- Calgary City Directories, 1902 - 1991
- Prairie City Directories to 1950's (Peel Bibliography)