Homestead Records at the Provincial Archives of Alberta

Federal Order-in-Council PC 1710, 1881
Provincial Archives of Alberta Accession
GR1982.104/3

Under the provisions of the Federal Dominion Lands Act (1872), individuals could make application for parcels of Crown land in Western Canada. The normal size of a homestead was one quarter section of 160 acres.

Upon taking up the homestead, the individual was required to clear at least 10 acres of land, undertake some cultivation, have built a habitable dwelling and some farm buildings, and live on the land for six months a year for three years. Once these requirements were let, the individual would submit an application for title (letters patent) to the land.

The Provincial Archives holds microfilm copies of individual homestead applications for land throughout Alberta. These application files provide some basic biographical information on the applicant, such as his or her age, place of birth, former place of residence, and date of entry on the land. Marital status is noted, but the spouse is not usually named. If the applicant was not a Canadian citizen, there may be a copy of his/her naturalization record, as only Canadian citizens could receive title to a homestead.


A homesteader's first residence, n.d.
Provincial Archives of Alberta Photo B4510

Century Farm Award

Applications for the Alberta Century Farm and Ranch Award are handled directly by Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. Please contact them directly for more information.


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