Canadian Genealogy Centre – Land Records

The introduction page to land records at the Canadian Genealogy Centre gives you a general background into the geography, historic boundaries and records of Canada.

There is a database for Western Land Grants (1870-1930) which covers the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the railway belt of British Columbia. This is a name index and the reference will give you the part, section, township, range, meridian, lots, volume, folio, microfilm reel number, names, and place name. This should be enough to find your document on the microfilm. They even provide a section to suggest a correction if you find an error.

The first subtopic in land records is Land Petitions for Lower and Upper Canada. They provide research tips for searching these records and I would suggest reading them. The boundaries changed and it depends on the date you are searching as to whether you search Upper or Lower Canada records.

The website states that the records for Quebec and Lower Canada, 1764-1841 contain the following:

• Petitions for grants or leases of land or for commutation of tenure;
• Reports from the Surveyor General or the Attorney General;
• Submissions to the Land Committee;
• Administrative records;
• Certificates and other documentation submitted in support of individual requests; and
• Copies of committee minutes.

There is a list of microfilm reel numbers for the index and another for the records. They even have a conversion table for Old French Measurement Units.

The index and digitized images of Lower Canada Land Petitions are also available online. The search gives you a summary of the record and then you can click on view image to see the original.

There is a list of names of claimants for the Gaspé Land Commission with a page, microfilm and volume number reference to help you find the original.

Upper Canada (Ontario) and the United Province of Canada, 1797-1867 has no digital images or searchable database online. There are microfilm numbers for an index and for the Land Books and Land Petitions. The website says that the series contains the following:

• Petitions for grants or leases of land;
• Reports from the Surveyor General or Attorney General;
• Certificates and other documentation submitted in support of individual requests;
• Some Canada Company lists; and
• Some lists of settlers by place.

The Provincial Land Records section provides information and links to help you navigate the winding maze of land records in each province.

Land Grants to Veterans refer to the fact that the government gave land to former soldiers. This section leads you to resources where you may find information on a former soldier who received land from the government.

The section on land records is relatively small at the Canadian Genealogy Centre. Most land records are held at the provincial level. Hopefully they will soon have online indexes and images for the Upper Canada Land Petitions.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

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