Skip to Main Content

How to Find Your Gold Rush Relative: Sources on the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes, 1896-1914


Compiled by R. Bruce Parham, May 1997 (Updated April 2001)
National Archives and Records Administration-Pacific Alaska Region
Anchorage, Alaska

Presented by The Alaska Gold Rush Centennial Task Force

This guide is intended to provide a basic list of Alaska and Yukon genealogical resources for individuals who were in the north during the Klondike and Alaska Gold Rushes (1896-1914). While not comprehensive, the information includes promising and up-to-date sources with others that may be obscure and un-indexed.

Many of the repositories have guides to their archival, manuscript, and photograph collections and specific finding aids to their Gold Rush materials. The list of active genealogical societies includes information on how to hire individuals or groups to do research. The Internet has become a valuable genealogical research tool and, as such, addresses for sites particularly in Alaska and Yukon are included. The sources listed are at the larger Alaska or Yukon libraries; some items may be borrowed on interlibrary loan through your local public library.

For the next decade or so, readers will see many books celebrating the centenary of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rushes. For additional information on the Klondike and Alaska Gold Rushes, see the following sources:

  • Berton, Pierre. The Klondike Fever. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1958.
  • Naske, Claus-M. and Herman E. Slotnik. Alaska: A History of the 49th State. Second Edition. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.
  • Marks, Paula Mitchell. Precious Dust: The American Gold Rush Era, 1848-1900. New York: William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1994.

The Alaska Gold Rush Centennial Task Force has a Gold Rush Trails and Time Line brochure available. For further information, write the Office of History and Archaeology, 3601 C St., Suite 1278, Anchorage, AK 99503-5921; telephone (907) 269-8721; fax (907) 269-8908; E-mail: If you know of or find sources that you believe should be included in this guide, please write OHA with your suggestions.

Major Alaska Repositories

Genealogical Societies

Members of the following groups can be hired to do research. Other researchers can be found in the yellow pages of local telephone directories under Research Services. The Association of Professional Genealogists (3421 M St., NW, Suite 236, Washington, DC 20007-3552; telephone 703-920-2385) publishes the Directory of Professional Genealogists which lists researchers for hire. This list does not constitute a recommendation by the Alaska Gold Rush Centennial Task Force.

  • Anchorage Genealogical Society Box 212265, Anchorage, AK 99521-2265
  • Fairbanks Genealogical Society Box 60534, Fairbanks, AK 99706-0564
  • Gastineau Genealogical Society 3270 Nowell Ave., Juneau, AK 99801; telephone 907.586.3695
  • Genealogical Society of Southeast Alaska Box 6313, Ketchikan, AK 99901
  • Kenai Totem Tracers Box 4380, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Seward Genealogical Society c/o Seward Community Library, Box 537, Seward, AK 99664
  • Wrangell Genealogical Society PO Box 928, Wrangell, AK 99929

Internet Resources

CD-ROM Databases

  • Canadian Genealogy Index, 1600s-1900s - Family Archive CD 118 Broderbund Software, Banner Blue Division, Box 6125, Novato, CA 94948-6125; 1-(800) 315-0672 Over two million records from Canada and Alaska
  • PolarPac4 Western Library Network; Box 3888, Lacey, WA 98503-0888; 1-(800) 342-5956 or (360) 923-4000 Bibliographic citations from Alaska and Pacific Northwest libraries Bibliography of Alaska and Polar Regions ANCESTORS database of over 130,000 Alaska pioneers

Reference Books

  • The Alaska-Yukon Gold Book: A Roster of the Progressive Men and Women Who Were Argonauts of the Klondike Gold Stampede. Seattle, WA: Sourdough Stampede Association, Inc., 1930.
  • Alaska-Yukon Pioneers. Membership Roster. Seattle: Alaska-Yukon Pioneers, published annually.
  • Blahuta, Renee. Guide to Photographs in the Pioneer Museum, Alaskaland Pioneer Park, Fairbanks, Alaska: An Index. Fairbanks: Renee Blahuta and Associates, 1991.
  • Bradbury, Connie, David A. Hales, and Nancy Lesh. Alaska People Index. Anchorage: Alaska Historical Commission, 1986. Included in ANCESTORS on PolarPak 4.
  • Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. Canada, The Printed Record: A Bibliographic Register with Indexes to the Microfiche Series of the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. Two Volumes. Ottawa: The Institute, 1990. Available at Government Documents, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
  • Chase, William H., ed. Pioneers of Alaska: The Trail Blazers of Bygone Days. Kansas City: Burton Publishing Company, 1951. Original members of the Pioneers of Alaska.
  • Cook Inlet Historical Society. Anchorage Pioneer Family Album. Anchorage: The Society, 1994.
  • Davis, Trevor M. Looking Back at Juneau: The First Hundred Years. Juneau: Miner Publishing Co., 1979.
  • Dickerson, Ora B. 120 Years of Alaska Postmasters, 1867-1967. Scotts, MI: Carl J. Cammarata, 1989.
  • Directory of the Tanana Valley 1907. Fairbanks: Tanana Directory Co., 1907.
  • Drazan, Joseph and Joseph A. Burke. Picture Alaska: An Index. Second Edition. Fairbanks: Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1974.
  • Eichholtz, Alice, ed. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources. Revised Edition. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Inc., 1992.
  • Fahy, Neil E. San Mateo County Sourdoughs in the Klondike and Nome Gold Rushes of 1896-1900. San Mateo, CA: San Mateo County Historical Association, 1988.
  • Ferrell, Ed. Biographies of Alaska-Yukon Pioneers, 1850-1950. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1994.
  • Frederick, Robert A. "Caches of Alaskana: Library and Archival Sources of Alaskan History," Alaska Review (Fall and Winter 1966-1967): 39-79.
  • Gates, Michael. Gold at Fortymile Creek: Early Days in the Yukon. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1994.
  • Hales, David A., Margaret N. Heath, and Gretchen L. Lake. An Index to Dawson City, Yukon Territory and Alaska Directory and Gazetteer, Alaska-Yukon Directory and Gazetteer and Polk's Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer and Business Directory. Seven Volumes (1901-1912). Fairbanks: Alaska and Polar Regions Department, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1995.
  • Harrison, Edward Sanford. The Directory and Gazetteer of Seward Peninsula. Seattle: Loman & Sanford, 1904?
  • ______. Nome and Seward Peninsula: History, Description, Biographies and Stories. Seattle: Harrison, 1905.
  • Heiner, Virginia Doyle. Alaska Mining History: A Source Document. Anchorage: Office of History and Archaeology, Alaska Division of Parks, July 1977.
  • Jackson, Ronald Vern. Alaskan Census Records, 1870-1907. Bountiful, UT: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1976.
  • Merrell, Bruce. Alaska Territorial Telephone Books, 1906-1958: A Collection on Microfiche. Juneau: Alaska State Library, 1989.
  • Orth, Donald J. Dictionary of Alaska Place Names. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper No. 567. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1967.
  • Phillips, James W. Alaska-Yukon Place Names. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1973.
  • Schorr, Alan Edward. Alaska Place Names. Fourth Edition. Juneau: The Denali Press, 1991.
  • Sebert, Tina, comp. The Yukon Heritage Source Book & Service List. Dawson City: Yukon Anniversaries Commission, 1994.
  • Skagway Directory and Guide. Skagway: J. Chester Clinton, 1899.
  • Stirling, Dale. The Alaska Records Survey: An Inventory of Archival Resources in Repositories of the United States and Canada. Anchorage: Alaska Historical Commission, 1986.
  • Tillotson, Marjorie. A Guide to the Pathfinder: a Monthly Journal of the Pioneers of Alaska, 1919-1926. Juneau: Alaska Historical Library, 1977.
  • Wickersham, James. A Bibliography of Alaskan Literature, 1724-1924. Fairbanks: Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, 1927.

Cemetery Registers

  • Anchorage Genealogical Society. The Cemetery Book: An Indexes [i.e., Indexed] Compilation of People Interred in Cemeteries Located in the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska. Anchorage: The Society, 1987.
  • Andersen, Thayne I. Sitka, Alaska Death Register. Fairbanks: The Author, 1987.
  • Choate, Glenda J. Skagway, Alaska, Gold Rush Cemetery: History and Guidebook. Skagway: Lynn Canal Publishing, 1989.
  • City of Fairbanks. Register of Deaths for the Town of Fairbanks, Alaska, 1907-1923, Birch Hill Cemetery Records, Fairbanks, Alaska, 1929-1959, and Clay Street Cemetery Card File. Available at the Alaska and Polar Regions Department, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • Gastineau Genealogical Society. Funeral Records, Juneau, Alaska: Master Index. Juneau: The Society, 1989. Records and index available at the Alaska State Library, Alaska Historical Collections, Juneau.
  • Kenai Totem Tracers. Alaska's Kenai Peninsula Death Records and Cemetery Inscriptions. Kenai: Kenai Totem Tracers, 1983.
  • Quimbee, John. Cemetery Notes: Books 1 and 3, 1932. Fairbanks' Clay Street Cemetery; there is no record of Book 2. Available at the Alaska and Polar Regions Department, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • Record of Funerals. September 1898-December 21, 1937; an Index to Four Volumes of Dawson, Yukon Territory, Funeral Records. Available at the Alaska State Library, Alaska Historical Collections, Juneau.
  • Ross, Hosea H. Ledger, 1918-1941. Ross was the Fairbanks undertaker. Available at the Alaska and Polar Regions Department, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • Sitka National Cemetery. Sitka National Cemetery Register Books, 1882-1953. Sitka: The Cemetery, 1953. Available at the Archives and Manuscripts Department, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Newspaper Indexes and Guides

  • Chang, Tohsook P., and Alden Rollins, eds. Anchorage Daily Times Obituaries Index, 1915-1965. Anchorage: University of Alaska, 1979.
  • Davis, Phyllis. A Guide to Alaska's Newspapers. Juneau: Gastineau Channel Centennial Association and Alaska Division of State Libraries and Museums, 1976.
  • DeArmond, Robert N. A Sitka Chronology: 1867-1987. Sitka: Sitka Historical Society, 1993.
  • ______. Subject Index to the Alaskan, 1885-1907, a Sitka Newspaper. Juneau: Gastineau Channel Centennial Association, 1974.
  • Ehrlich, Lea. The Klondike Nugget Index. Seattle: Special Collections Division, University of Washington Libraries, 1984.
  • Galbraith, William R. Alaska Newspaper Tree: A Guide to the Alaskan Newspaper Holdings of the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library. Second Edition. Fairbanks: Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1980.
  • Hales, David A. An Index to the Early History of Alaska as Reported in the 1903-1907 Fairbanks Newspapers. Fairbanks: Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1980.
  • Index of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Divorces in Fairbanks, Alaska Newspapers: 1903- 1930. Anchorage: Alaska Historical Commission, 1986.
  • Ingram, Rob, Helene Dobrowolsky, and Felicitas Tangerman. The Yukon Sun, 1899-1905: Index and Summary. Whitehorse: Heritage Branch, Department of Tourism, Government of the Yukon, 1993.
  • Miller, Betty J. Vital Records of Alaska and Yukon (Marriage, Death, Birth, Divorce, Anniversary and Christening) as Reported in the Weekly Douglas Island Newspaper, Douglas, Alaska, 1898-1922. Juneau: Gastineau Genealogical Society, 1991.
  • Name Authority File for Fairbanks, Alaska Newspapers: 1908-February 1914. Anchorage: Alaska Historical Commission, 1986.
  • Raetzman, Amanda and James P. Danky. Alaska Newspapers and Periodicals in the Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Madison: The Society, 1993.
  • Redman, Earl. An Index to Mining-Related Articles about Mines and Miners in the Juneau Gold Belt, Porcupine, Admiralty Island and Chichagof Areas from Juneau-Area Newspapers, 1885-1944. Juneau: Alaska Historical Library, 1989.
  • Redman, Earl and Ken Maas. An Index to Mining-Related Articles in Ketchikan Newspapers, 1901-1936. Juneau: Alaska State Library, 1997.
  • Stallings, Mike. Index to the Seward Gateway, A Newspaper, 1904-1910. Seward: Seward Community Library, 1983.
  • Tosczak, Jan. Dawson Daily News, 1899-1920: Index and Summary. Whitehorse: Heritage Branch, Department of Tourism, Government of the Yukon, 1991.