Have you ever wondered if your ancestry could be traced to somewhere in Alberta’s Foothills? 

That is the hope of the Alberta Family History Society (AFHS), a non-profit society that has created a catalogue of rural cemeteries across the province. 

According to Wendy Schultz, the Society’s Cemeteries Team Lead, they’ve already finished recording gravesites in several communities in the Foothills region. 

  • Blackie 

  • Cayley 

  • Davisburg 

  • Foothills 

  • Frankburg 

  • Gladys Union 

  • Millarville 

  • Pine Creek 

  • St. Andrew's 

  • St. Thomas' Anglican 

  • Trinity Mennonite 

“That all started back in the 80s when people didn't have digital cameras, so it was a case of going out with a pad of paper and writing down exactly what was written on every single marker,” she said “We've had that data in our society and in our library available for the public since then, but we're in the process now of putting it all online in a nice free, searchable, free to the public database where you can look up names and you can find the photos.” 

Schultz added that they visited the Okotoks cemetery last fall to get the photos and even had help from the town in getting information for people in that cemetery. 

As it is roughly 3,700 names, it will take time before all the details will be placed on AlbertaAncestors.ca, where the cemetery data can be found. 

Schultz said the Highwood Cemetery is another major project they’re still working on. 

“Over 6,000 names, so that's a big undertaking for a little local genealogy society populated mainly by seniors,” she said. “It is on our radar, we will do it, it's just going to take us a little more time for that one.” 

The AFHS does more than catalogue cemeteries in the province. They also provide genealogical resources for those looking for family’s history. There’s also a section highlighting historical figures in Alberta. 

Those interested in learning more about the cemeteries project can visit AlbertaAncestors.ca and more details on the society can be found at AFHS.ab.ca