Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Finding Alberta Homesteads and Farmsteads (made easy)

As I was reading a recent newsletter from, it referred to homesteads and had a link to the following site:

I looked up the homesteads of my grandfather Richard Ing and his brothers James and Thomas.
Then I wondered whether my other grandfather William Andrew Buchanan had ever taken out an Alberta homestead.

Sure enough!

BUCHANAN, William Andrew Section 17 Township 41 Range 5 Meridian 5 Film # 2956 in Accession # 1970.313 at Provincial Archives of Alberta File # 2210868

Where on earth is that??? The 5th Meridian is just 5 minutes drive west of me, so it would have to be somewhere in the western part of Alberta, but where?

After a few false starts I found this site.

Then I followed this helpful note to plot the location using Google Maps! 

NOTE: If you will use these numbers with a GIS tool, like Google Maps or a GPS, you must put a MINUS sign in front of the longitude result. For example, 110.0079112 should be -110.0079112 when entered into Google Maps.

The result was a somewhat remote place roughly 20 miles or 30 km north of Leslieville, Alberta. This made good sense, since my dad had attended school in the Leedale-Leslieville area. Now I knew exctly where they lived!

You might want to give it a try for some of your ancestral farms in Alberta.


Blogger Craig Buchanan said...


You're doing great work! Can I take us back a couple of years though, to a post I noticed elsewhere on your site, resulting from a conversation with one of my cousins, Carol Bennett? You will find it at

and in it you suggest that the John Buchanan we have as being born in or around 1799, died 1877, who was father to the John who married Sarah Jane Condy (my great-great-grandfather and g-g-grandmother respectively) was the same as the John Buchanan who was born in 1797 in Castlederg, the son of Joseph Buchanan and Nancy Carson. For all that the year of birth is slightly out, you seemed pretty confident that it was a match. Did we ever follow up, or did we discard the link for some reason?

Kind regards,


Monday, July 4, 2016 at 1:15:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Bill Buchanan said...


I believe it is the same person as the son of Joseph Buchanan and Nancy Carson.
In the 1901 and 1911 censuses, John and Sarah Jane (Condy) Buchanan are living in "Coolavannagh", which is the long form of "Cooel". So I am confident that he is the son of John Buchanan who died in Cooel in 1877. This last John Buchanan is probably the son of Joseph Buchanan and Nancy Carson of Castlederg but I cannot be certain.


Monday, July 4, 2016 at 9:22:00 AM MDT  

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