How to Find Camsell Hospital Records (Part 1)

A big part of my search for Joseph has been learning to navigate the official hospital and government records. I’m a trained historian and it’s been tricky and intimidating at times, so I can only imagine what it’s like for former patients or people trying to track down what happened to their loved ones.

I’ve been keeping notes about my process, like breadcrumbs, so I’ve got a sense of how to do this work. My plan all along was to then share a ‘how-to guide’ so all of you out there could have the tools to do it too (and not have to make my mistakes and fall into my research holes).

We’re all fortunate that someone else was thinking along the same lines and got there faster. Melissa Cardinal, a nurse in Edmonton, decided for her MA project to focus on this. And she’s come up with a really great, easy-to-understand website.

One thing she highlights that is a huge boon to all of us trying to figure out these things is that the Province of Alberta has made its vital statistics (birth and death records, etc) available and searchable ONLINE! For deaths, this is just for anything fifty years old or more (so, May 16, 1967 and older, as I write this) for privacy/legal reasons. But still, this will help so many people doing research far away from Edmonton.

Melissa also has a great interactive map on her site to help you figure out if it’s likely you or your loved one was a patient at the hospital (versus one of the other two dozen or so Indian Hospitals in Canada).

As Melissa says on her site, I’m working on a ‘how-to guide’ for people who have checked at the Provincial and local level and want to see what might be available at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. Off I go!

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5 thoughts on “How to Find Camsell Hospital Records (Part 1)

  1. Miya Gordon October 2, 2018 / 6:48 pm

    Hi, I was born at this hospital on November 12 1979. I was put up for adoption. I am searching for my birth mother. Please message me back. Thank you!

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    • historiandmc October 3, 2018 / 5:09 pm

      Hi! Thank you for contacting me through the site. I invite you to send me an email at info@daniellemc.com if you’d like to discuss this more in a private forum. Best, Danielle

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  2. Cecile Richards ( Mandeville ) February 11, 2019 / 9:10 pm

    Hi, I was born in 1965 and my sister and where Charles Camsell Hospital and according to my sister we were there for 5 months and i had an operation on my eyes and my sister was there for TB. I am looking for our records it might have been in 1972.73 or 74.
    Thank you,Cecile

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    • historiandmc February 13, 2019 / 3:33 pm

      Hi Cecile, Thanks so much for your comment and visiting the site. Have you checked out the steps Melissa and I outlined in terms of tracking down medical records? I hope they are useful. If you need extra assistance, I’ll try and connect you to the right resources! Best, Danielle

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      • Gloria ODonnell February 18, 2019 / 11:55 pm

        My employment records from Jan-May 1973 went missing. I did not find out until I applied for CPP. I get a few dollars less pension because of this.
        Irony is Charles Camsell was under the Federal Government at that time so what on earth did they do with my contributions to CPP as the $ 52.00 they collected was there but not my income. Very strange but no records ever found. I wonder if other employees found the same problem.
        I liked this modern hospital. Very new and where I worked in the Pathology Department was well equipped. I did go on the wards as the laboratory was small so all Med Technologists had to take on call and cover all lab departments. It was very hard work on nights when patients arrived by air and all the work was stat. Sometimes we worked 24 hours. Very tough

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