The Alberta Genealogical Society hosts a free database of Alberta Homestead Records from 1870 to 1930. This is an all-name index to the homestead files that exist on 686 reels of microfilm at the Provincial Archives of Alberta. This index includes the names of those who did not complete the homesteading process or others who had some ‘interest’ in the land.

The Library and Archives Canada has land descriptions for those who obtained the homestead permits from 1870 to 1930.

“Homestead files normally contain:

  • An application for homestead, containing the applicant’s name, age, birthplace, last residence, prior occupation, number of adults and children in household.
  • An application for patent, containing name, age, occupation, post office, nationality, residency information, wife/children (no names), breaking/cropping, livestock, buildings, fencing.
  • A notice that patent (title) has been issued.”

“Under the Dominion Lands Act, once Crown land had been surveyed and officially declared available for settlement, individuals could apply to homestead a quarter section (160 acres) of their choice. Then, after paying a $10 filing fee and ‘proving up’ their homestead claim (occupying the land for at least three years and performing certain improvements, including building a house and barn, fencing, breaking and cropping a portion of the land), the homesteader could apply for patent (title) to the land.”


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