Ontario Land Records

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''[[Canada|Canada]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Ontario|Ontario]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Ontario_Land_Records|Land Records]]''  
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''[[Canada|Canada]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Ontario|Ontario]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Ontario Land and Property]]'' [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] '''Ontario Land Records'''  
  
 
__TOC__ [[Image:{{TopoSurv}}]]  
 
__TOC__ [[Image:{{TopoSurv}}]]  
  
=== Introduction  ===  
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=== Introduction  ===
  
Land record indexes are among the best tools for locating residents in [[Ontario]] before 1851 when few [[Ontario Census|censuses]] and other province-wide records or indexes exist. Many immigrants came to Ontario to claim available land, so [[Ontario Land and Property|land ownership]] was generally recorded as soon after they arrived. Also, wills were often copied into deed books and other land records instead of in [[Ontario Probate Records|probate records]]. Land records sometimes exist when other records are not available.  
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Land record indexes are among the best tools for locating residents in [[Ontario]] before 1851 when few [[Ontario Census|censuses]] and other province-wide records or indexes exist. Many immigrants came to Ontario to claim available land, so [[Ontario Land and Property|land ownership]] was generally recorded soon after they arrived. Also, wills were often copied into deed books and other land records instead of in [[Ontario Probate Records|probate records]]. Land records sometimes exist when other records are not available.  
  
==== What you need to know to get started ====
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'''Ontario land records history.''' The earliest European settlers in Ontario came from France, Ireland, Scotland, and England. They were often attracted by the opportunity to own land. The British crown (government) frequently offered prospective settlers free land grants. The continuing settlement of Ontario was enhanced by large numbers of land grants to [[American Loyalists]] and their children who began moving into Ontario during the [[Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783|American War for Independence]] which started in 1775. In 1789 Land Boards were established in four Ontario districts ([http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/maps/ontario-districts.aspx Hesse, Nassau, Mecklenburg, and Lunenburg]) to better organize the land granting process. In 1791 Upper Canada (Ontario) was separated from Lower Canada (Quebec), so many land records of Ontario before 1791 are '''''still&nbsp;''''' in <u>Quebec</u> land records. In 1794 Ontario Land Boards were dissolved— their authority and records were then transferred to the more centralized Executive Council.<ref name="LBUC">Library and Archives Canada, ''Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804 '' at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-boards-upper-canada/Pages/land-boards-upper-canada.aspx (accessed 16 July 2014).</ref>
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'''What you need to know to get started'''
  
 
To search these land records, it helps to know:<br>  
 
To search these land records, it helps to know:<br>  
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*Township of residence (if known)
 
*Township of residence (if known)
  
==== Kinds of information in Ontario land records ====
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'''Kinds of information in Ontario land records'''
  
 
*where and when ancestors lived in an area  
 
*where and when ancestors lived in an area  
 
*the name of spouses, heirs, and other relatives  
 
*the name of spouses, heirs, and other relatives  
*the names of neighbors  
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*the names of neighbors (potentially relatives)
 
*where ancestors lived previously  
 
*where ancestors lived previously  
 
*the occupation of ancestors  
 
*the occupation of ancestors  
 
*the relationship of ancestors to a Loyalist ancestor  
 
*the relationship of ancestors to a Loyalist ancestor  
*when ancestors left the area and where they were moving
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*when ancestors left the area and where they were moving  
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*who transferred the land to an ancestor, and the person to whom the ancestor transferred it—people who are possibly relatives
  
==== Types of records found in Ontario land records ====
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'''Types of records found in Ontario land records'''
  
 
*[[Ontario Emigration and Immigration|immigrant lists]]  
 
*[[Ontario Emigration and Immigration|immigrant lists]]  
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*leases, indexes, and registers  
 
*leases, indexes, and registers  
 
*case files and commission records  
 
*case files and commission records  
*claims and reports
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*claims and reports  
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*occasional wills and estate papers
  
==== Limitations ====
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'''Limitations'''
  
 
Ontario land records do not consistently show all the same information, even within the same record, or for the same piece of property over the years. Be prepared to supplement land records with other types of records. Only by [[Search the Records#Be_Thorough|comparing and contrasting all the available sources]] can you build the [[Genealogical Proof Standard|most complete and accurate picture]] of the life of an ancestor.  
 
Ontario land records do not consistently show all the same information, even within the same record, or for the same piece of property over the years. Be prepared to supplement land records with other types of records. Only by [[Search the Records#Be_Thorough|comparing and contrasting all the available sources]] can you build the [[Genealogical Proof Standard|most complete and accurate picture]] of the life of an ancestor.  
  
==== Related Websites ====
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=== Using Ontario Land Records ===
  
*Archives of Ontario, [http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_225_resources_for_researching_land_records.pdf Researching Ontario Land Records]. (Research Guide 225). Briefly describes the land ownership process and shows several record groups pertaining to land records.  
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Some Ontario land records are indexed. Others are not indexed, but are organized geographically by their legal land description which includes the county, township, concession number, and lot number. To find an ancestor in Ontario land records follow these steps:  
*Archives of Ontario,&nbsp;[http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_215_grant_to_patent.pdf From Grant to Patent: A Guide to Early Land Settlement Records, ca.1790 to ca.1850]. (Research Guide 215). Discusses the Ontario Land Records Index, petitions, land board records, Heir and Devisee Commission land disputes, land promoters, township papers, surveyor notes, correspondece, maps, patents, and land registry office records.
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*Archives of Ontario, [http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_205_land_records.pdf Using the Ontario Land Records Index ca. 1780-ca. 1920] (Research Guide 205). What it is, how it is organized, where it is available, what you need to know, how to use it, index examples, and index code explanations.
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*Ontario Genealogy, [http://www.ontariogenealogy.com/uppercanadalandpetitions/index.html Upper Canada Land Petition Indexes]. You can search their index by name.
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<div style="float: left; width: 147%"></div>
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=== Steps for Using Ontario Land Records  ===
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To find an ancestor follow these steps:
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==== Step 1. Search the land records with surname indexes  ====
  
==== Step 1. Search land records that have surname indexes  ====
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'''''Search ALL of the following records''''' because each has different names and data than the others. Your ancestor may be in more than one.
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<div style="float: left; width: 147%">
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::#Executive Council, '''''Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867'''''. LAC RG 1, L3.  
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::#Crown Lands Department, '''''Land records, ca. 1792-1876'''''. AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III. Partially indexed in the Archives of Ontario, '''''Ontario Archives Land Record Index, 1780s-1914'''''.
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::#Heir and Devisee Commission, '''''Land Records 1796-1894'''''. AO RG 40, series A-I.
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::#'''''Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804'''''. LAC RG1, L1.
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::#Executive Council, '''''Land minute books of the Executive Council, 1787-1841'''''. LAC RG 1 L1.
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::#Executive Council, '''''Land submissions to the Executive Council, 1783-1865'''''. LAC RG 1 L3.
  
'''''Search all four of the following records''''' because each has different names and information than the others. Your ancestor may be in more than one. Search each index first to find its corresponding land records.<br>
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:::''Each of the six sets of records above are described individually and in greater detail below.''
  
#Executive Council, '''''Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867'''''. LAC RG 1, L3. On {{FHL|521830|title-id|disp=374 films starting with FHL film 1832344}}
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::::'''''Indexes and Databases'''''. Search each index (or database) for an ancestor's name in each of the these types of Ontario land records. If you find an ancestor, photocopy the index (or database) entry.
#Heir and Devisee Commission, '''''Land Records 1796-1894'''''. AO RG 40, series A-I. On {{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=100 films starting with FHL film 1313768}}
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#Archives of Ontario, '''''Ontario Archives Land Record Index, 1780s-1914'''''. On {{FHL|283269|title-id|disp=FHL microfiche 6330524-6330552}}
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#Crown Lands Department, '''''Land records, ca. 1792-1876'''''. AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III. On {{FHL|283269|title-id|disp=289 films starting with FHL film 1316141}}&nbsp;&nbsp; Note: Series C-II starts with FHL film 1376318; Series C-III starts with FHL film 1376303.
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===== Search the Indexes  =====
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::::'''''Original Records'''''. ''If you find your ancestor listed in any of the indexes'', '''obtain and view the corresponding land records.''' Find copies of the land records using all the data from the index, such as the year, township, file number, volume and page number to identify the corresponding land record's microfilm number, or identify it in the associated database. ''When you find the land record'', make photocopies for your files.
  
For the records listed below, find and search the appropriate index film (or database) for an ancestor's name. If you find an ancestor, photocopy the index (or database) entry.
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::::'''''Repositories&nbsp;''''' which provide access to some or all of these records include:
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:::::*[[Library and Archives Canada]] ('''LAC''')
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:::::*[http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/ Archives of Ontario] ('''AO''')  
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:::::*[[Family History Library]] ('''FHL''')<br><br>
  
 
#Executive Council, '''''Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867'''''. A surname card '''index''' to: <br>  
 
#Executive Council, '''''Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867'''''. A surname card '''index''' to: <br>  
#*Land Books (Minutes of the Land Committee) in RG 1 L1,  
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#*Land Books (Minutes of the Land Committee) in LAC RG 1 L1,  
#*Land Petitions in RG 1 L3, for Upper Canada (Ontario) 1791-1841, and Canada 1841-1867.  
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#*Land Petitions in LAC RG 1 L3, for Upper Canada (Ontario) 1791-1841, and Canada 1841-1867.
#:[[Ontario Land Records Land Books and Petitions Index Film Numbers|Click here]] to see the card '''index''' film numbers.<br><br>
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#Heir and Devisee Commission, '''''Land Records 1796-1894'''''. AO RG 40, series A-I. <br>Second Heir and Devisee Commission Case Files Database ('''index''') at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/db/deviseedb.aspx<br>
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#Archives of Ontario, '''''Ontario Archives Land Record Index, 1780s-1914'''''. Index to the Ontario Land Records. '''Index''' microfiche numbers listed at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/microfilm/crown_land_records_microfiche.aspx <br>
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#Crown Lands Department, '''''Land Petitions and Related Records, 1637-1842'''''. AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III. Includes many indexes and alphabetical lists. On {{FHL|283269|title-id|disp=289 films starting with FHL film 1316141}}.<br>
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#*Petitions (R.G. 1, series C-I-1), 1827-1860 '''Ab-Z'''
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#*Petitions of misc. nature, '''A-Z'''
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#*Photocopy transcripts of memorials to the commissioners and Haldimand, 1827-1860
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#*Petitions for licenses as provincial land surveyors, 1827-1860 '''A-Y'''
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#*Registers of petitions, 1835-1837 (v. 57, '''indexed'''), 1836-1842 (v. 58), 1840-1851 (v. 59-61), 1852-1855 (v. 62) 1845-1849 (v. 63)
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#*Register of applications (sent to the executive council), 1849-1865
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#*Registers of applications for specific lots, 1828-1851
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#*Registers of applications (prior to 1832, advertised by orders-in-council, 1839), 1839-1842
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#*'''Index''' to petition reg., 1840-1845
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#*'''Index''' to vols. 59-62, petition reg., 1840-1855
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#*Additional Petitions (R.G. 1, series C-I-1) ca. 1827- ca. 1860 A-Z
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#*Orders-in-Council (R.G. 1, ser. C-I-2), 1796-1844 (arranged by surname) '''A-Z''' (arranged by place and subject) '''A-Y'''
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#*Regulations establishing parts of land under quit rent system, orders-in- council, 1825
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#*Schedule of names of persons who received orders-in-council in their favor, 1796-1797
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#*Schedules under orders-in-council ruling April 4, 1839 (1839, 1842-1844, grouped by district)
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#*Fiats and warrants (series C-I-3) ca 1796-? '''A-Z'''
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#*Fiats, old and new regulations (series C-I-3, 2nd) ca. 1796-? Bundles 265 (v. 9) to Bundles 7142 (v. 31)
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#*Warrants Bundles 1 1816 (v. 32) to Bundles 5850 1869 (v. 54)
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#*Register for warrants (R.J. no. 2) no. 1-366 (v. 54) 1819-1873
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#*'''Index''' to warrants no. 1-366 (v. 55) 1820-1845 '''Index''' to warrants (books 4 and 6, R.J. no. 2) (v. 56) '''Index''' to warrants (v. 57) 1816-1869
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#*'''Partial index''' for U.E. &amp; M.C. fiats for volumes 58 through part of 61, numerically arranged. no. 1-3000 1797-1816
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#*Warrants (v. 58) no. 1-800 1797-1807 to Warrants (v. 79) no. 6601-6723, 1850-1859?
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#*Docket book for warrants (v. 80, '''indexed''') 1798-1811
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#*U. E. Loyalists and military claimants fiats and warrants (v. 81); fiats, 1811-1823 ('''indexed'''); warrants, 1818-1823
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#*Fiats (U. E. Loyalists, v. 82, '''indexed'''), 1823-1837
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#*Warrants (U. E. Loyalists, v. 83-85) 1823-1865
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#*Fiats, Commission (v. 86) bundles 1-200 1812-1819 to Fiats, Commission (v. 89) bundles 2801-3016, 1852-1854
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#*Fiats, Commission (v. 90-92) 1796-1854
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#*Fiats (military emigrants (M. E.), v. 93) bundles 1-191, 1821-1824 to Fiats (M.E., v. 96-97, '''indexed''') 1821-1858
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#*Immigrants located by Quartermaster-General's Dept. (v. 98, '''indexed''') 1815-1822
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#*Orders-in-Council military settlement lands grants (v. 99, '''indexed''') 1819-1830
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===== Search the Land Records  =====
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::''For an index of these petiions'', see:
  
'''If you find your ancestor listed in any of the above indexes, search the corresponding land records.'''  
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::*LAC '''online index''': [http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/upper-canada-land/001097-100.01-e.php Upper Canada Land Petitions (1763-1865)] 82,000 entries in this database search.
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::*Michael Stephenson's [http://www.ontariogenealogy.com/uppercanadalandpetitions/index.html Upper Canada Land Petitions Index A-Z] 51,000 entries. You may need to scroll to find the index's list of A-Z letters of the alphabet. Select the letter of the alphabet for your ancestor's surname.  
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::*List of '''card index''' LAC and Family History Library (FHL) microfilm numbers: [[Ontario Land Records Land Books and Petitions Index Film Numbers]]<br>
  
#Type in the same beginning film number for each of the sources, using the catalog '''Film/Fiche Search'''.
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::::Even if the ''online index&nbsp;'' does not include a name, the ''card index on microfilm'' '''''may include a reference to an entry&nbsp;''''' in the Land Books where the decisions to accept or reject a petition were recorded.<ref name="RCLR">Archives of Ontario, ''Researching Crown Land Records'', Research Guide 225 at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_225_resources_for_researching_land_records.pdf (accessed 15 July 2014), 4.</ref><br><br>
#Find copies of the land records using information from the index, such as the volume and page number.
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:Upper Canada, Executive Council. '''''Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867.''''' On {{FHL|521830|title-id|disp=257 films beginning with '''FHL film 1832344'''}}. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1992. Microfilm of original records in the [http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html Library and Archives Canada]. RG 1, L3. These petitions may describe a land applicant's military service or relationship to a Loyalist ancestor. They may also list the names and ages of family members.
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:::Index cards for these minute books or petitions will look like this example:
  
 
:::[[Image:Example of Index.jpg|500px|Example of Index.jpg]]
 
:::[[Image:Example of Index.jpg|500px|Example of Index.jpg]]
  
:If you find an ancestor's index entry, photocopy it, or write down the following:
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::*See also [http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205141 Minutes and Records of the Land Boards Accumulated by the Executive Council Office (LAC RG 1 L4)], a '''database''' which provides access to more than 16,400 additional references to individuals in related sources.<ref name="LBUC" />
  
::Index film number (from FamilySearch Catalog)__________________________________
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:'''Note:''' Present-day '''[[Ontario]]''' was part of '''[[Quebec]]''' before 1791. Many petitions submitted by people living in '''Ontario''' before 1791 can be found in '''Quebec's''' '''''[http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-petitions-upper-canada-1763-1865/Pages/land-petitions-upper-canada.aspx Lower Canada Land Petitions, 1764-1841]'''''.<ref name="LBUC" /><br><br>
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:''If you find an ancestor's index entry'', photocopy it, or write down the following:
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::Index film number (from FHL Catalog)__________________________________
  
 
::Name______________________ Townships________________________ Year_________
 
::Name______________________ Townships________________________ Year_________
  
::Petitions or Book_______ Bundle number___________ Petition number__________<br>
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::Petitions or Minute Book_______ Bundle number___________ Petition number__________<br>
  
::Bundle film number (from FamilySearch Catalog)_________________________________
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::Bundle film number (from FHL Catalog)_________________________________<br><br>
  
:'''''Land Records, 1796-1894.''''' On {{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=100 films beginning with '''FHL film 1313768'''}}. Ontario. Heir and Devisee Commission (2nd). Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982. These records may explain a person's entitlement to land, such as military service or Loyalist ancestry. They may list the date of an application for land, the age of the applicant, and his place of birth.
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:'''Original Records'''. Executive Council, '''''Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867'''''. LAC RG 1, L3. On {{FHL|521830|title-id|disp=374 films starting with FHL film 1832344}}. These petitions may describe a land applicant's military service or relationship to a Loyalist ancestor. They may also list the names and ages of family members.<br><br>
  
::Index film number_________________________ Case file film number_______________________
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2. '''Land Petitions and Related Records, 1637-1842''' (AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III) have <u>two sets</u> of '''indexes:'''
  
:'''''Ontario Archives Land Record Index.''''' On {{FHL|164539|title-id|disp=129 microfiche beginning with '''FHL fiche 6049631'''}}. [Ontario?: Computrex Centre Ltd., 1979?]. Microfiche 6330425-6330477 contain the surname index, and microfiche 6049631 has the key to symbols. The '''surname section''' of this index gives the township name and concession and lot numbers for original government grants. The listed dates are petition or patent filing dates, not dates of arrival. Letter codes refer to the type of grant, lease, or sale.
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:A. Archives of Ontario, '''''Ontario Land Record Index''''' (OLRI), 1780s-1914. The '''OLRI'''<ref>Archives of Ontario, ''Using the Ontario Land Records Index ca. 1780-ca. 1920'', Research Guide 205 at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_205_land_records.pdf (accessed 15 July 2014).</ref> <ref>Archives of Ontario, ''Researching Crown Land Records'', Research Guide 225 at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_225_resources_for_researching_land_records.pdf (accessed 15 July 2014).</ref> is a <u>partial</u> '''index'''. Its Archives of Ontario <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;fiche numbers are listed at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/microfilm/crown_land_records_microfiche.aspx
  
::Index fiche number_________________________________
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::The {{FHL|164539|item|disp=Family History Library Fiche 6330425-6330477}} contain the surname '''index''', and {{FHL|164539|item|disp=FHL Fiche 6049631}} has the key to symbols. The '''''surname section''''' of this index gives the township name and lot and concession numbers for original government grants. The listed dates are petition or patent filing dates, not dates of arrival. Letter codes refer to the type of grant, lease, or sale.<br><br>
  
::[[Image:Example of Ontario Archives Land Record Index.jpg|880px]]
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::[[Image:Example of Ontario Archives Land Record Index.jpg|880px|Example of Ontario Archives Land Record Index.jpg]]<br><br>
  
:*'''If you found your ancestor's index entry, photocopy it, or write down the information below.'''
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::''If you find an ancestor's index entry'', photocopy it, or write down all the data.<br><br>
  
::County__________________ Township________________________
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:B. Crown Lands Department, '''''Land Petitions and Related Records, 1637-1842'''''. AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III. {{FHL|283269|title-id|disp=289 films starting 1316141}}.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As well as the index in 2A above, there are also many '''''additional&nbsp;''''' '''indexes and alphabetical lists''' mentioned ''within&nbsp;'' <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;these land records. ''For example'', the indexes cited in just the '''''first half&nbsp;''''' of these records are listed below:<br>
  
::Type________ Lot number__________ Concession number_________
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::*Petitions (AO RG 1, series C-I-1), 1827-1860 '''Ab-Z'''
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::*Petitions of misc. nature, '''A-Z'''
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::*Photocopy transcripts of memorials to the commissioners and Haldimand, 1827-1860
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::*Petitions for licenses as provincial land surveyors, 1827-1860 '''A-Y'''
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::*Registers of petitions, 1835-1837 (v. 57, '''indexed'''), 1836-1842 (v. 58), 1840-1851 (v. 59-61), 1852-1855 (v. 62) 1845-1849 (v. 63)
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::*Register of applications (sent to the executive council), 1849-1865
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::*Registers of applications for specific lots, 1828-1851
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::*Registers of applications (prior to 1832, advertised by orders-in-council, 1839), 1839-1842
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::*'''Index''' to petition reg., 1840-1845
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::*'''Index''' to vols. 59-62, petition reg., 1840-1855
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::*Additional Petitions (AO RG 1, series C-I-1) ca. 1827- ca. 1860 '''A-Z'''
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::*Orders-in-Council (AO RG 1, ser. C-I-2), 1796-1844 (arranged by surname) '''A-Z''' (arranged by place and subject) '''A-Y'''
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::*Regulations establishing parts of land under quit rent system, orders-in- council, 1825
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::*Schedule of names of persons who received orders-in-council in their favor, 1796-1797
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::*Schedules under orders-in-council ruling April 4, 1839 (1839, 1842-1844, grouped by district)
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::*Fiats and warrants (series C-I-3) ca 1796-? '''A-Z'''
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::*Fiats, old and new regulations (series C-I-3, 2nd) ca. 1796-? Bundles 265 (v. 9) to Bundles 7142 (v. 31)
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::*Warrants Bundles 1 1816 (v. 32) to Bundles 5850 1869 (v. 54)
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::*Register for warrants (R.J. no. 2) no. 1-366 (v. 54) 1819-1873
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::*'''Index''' to warrants no. 1-366 (v. 55) 1820-1845 '''Index''' to warrants (books 4 and 6, R.J. no. 2) (v. 56) '''Index''' to warrants (v. 57) 1816-1869
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::*'''Partial index''' for U.E. &amp; M.C. fiats for volumes 58 through part of 61, numerically arranged. no. 1-3000 1797-1816
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::*Warrants (v. 58) no. 1-800 1797-1807 to Warrants (v. 79) no. 6601-6723, 1850-1859?
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::*Docket book for warrants (v. 80, '''indexed''') 1798-1811
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::*U. E. Loyalists and military claimants fiats and warrants (v. 81); fiats, 1811-1823 ('''indexed'''); warrants, 1818-1823
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::*Fiats (U. E. Loyalists, v. 82, '''indexed'''), 1823-1837
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::*Warrants (U. E. Loyalists, v. 83-85) 1823-1865
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::*Fiats, Commission (v. 86) bundles 1-200 1812-1819 to Fiats, Commission (v. 89) bundles 2801-3016, 1852-1854
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::*Fiats, Commission (v. 90-92) 1796-1854
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::*Fiats (military emigrants (M. E.), v. 93) bundles 1-191, 1821-1824 to Fiats (M.E., v. 96-97, '''indexed''') 1821-1858
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::*Immigrants located by Quartermaster-General's Dept. (v. 98, '''indexed''') 1815-1822
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::*Orders-in-Council military settlement lands grants (v. 99, '''indexed''') 1819-1830<br><br>
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::''If you find an ancestor's index entry'', photocopy it, or write down all the data.<br><br>
  
::Date___________ RG Series_________ Vol.________ Page________
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:'''Original Records'''. Crown Lands Department, '''''Land records, ca. 1792-1876'''''. AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III. On {{FHL|283269|title-id|disp=289 films starting with FHL film 1316141}}. (Note: Series C-II starts with FHL film 1376318; Series C-III starts with FHL film 1376303.) Use the transaction type, record group (RG) number, volume, and page number in the ''Index'' to find the film number. Search each alphabetical sequence in these land records even if your ancestor was in the microfiche ''Index''. Land record types include petitions, fiats, warrants, registers, assignments, clergy reserves, leases, sales, and Indian lands.<br><br><br>
  
:*'''With the information found in this index, view the land records.'''
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3. Heir and Devisee Commission, '''''Land Records 1796-1894'''''. AO RG 40, series A-I. Second Heir and Devisee Commission Case Files.
  
::#Search the following record. Also try the sources listed on page 6.  
+
:The government created the Heir and Devisee Commissions to settle disputes about who was entitled to receive the letters patent for a parcel of land.<ref>Archives of Ontario, ''From Grant to Patent: A Guide to Early Land Settlement Records, ca.1790 to ca.1850'', Archives of Ontario Research Guide 215 at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_215_grant_to_patent.pdf (accessed 23 July 2014).</ref> ''For indexes see:''<br><br> [[Image:{{OLCI}}]]
::#Then go to [[Ontario Land Records#Step_2._Search_land_records_arranged_by_description|'''Step 2''']].
+
  
:'''''Land Records, ca. 1792-1876.''''' On {{FHL|283269|title-id|disp=289 films beginning with '''FHL film 1316141'''}}. Ontario. Crown Lands Department. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982-1984. The ''Ontario Archives Land Records Index'' indexes some, but not all of the names from the Ontario Archives Record Group 1, C-I to C-III series. Use the transaction type, record group (RG) number, volume, and page number in the ''Index'' to find the film number. Search each alphabetical sequence in these land records even if your ancestor was in the ''Index''.
+
::*Database ('''index''') at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/db/deviseedb.aspx
  
::Alphabetical index film number_____________________________
+
::*Microfilm card '''index''' of claims case files 1804-1895<br>
 +
::::'''A-D''' &nbsp;&nbsp;{{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313779}}
 +
::::'''E-L''' &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;{{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313780}}
 +
::::'''M-R''' &nbsp;&nbsp;{{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313781}}
 +
::::'''S-Y''' &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;{{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313782}} <br><br>
  
::Land record film number___________________________________
+
::*Book indexes (bound indices). 5 vols.
 +
:::Vol. 1. '''Index''' to claimants 1829-1853. {{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313782}}. Shows lot, <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;concesstion, township, year, and commission number.
 +
:::Vol. 2. '''Index''' to claimants 1804-1883. {{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313782}}. Same as v. 1.
 +
:::Vol. 3. '''Index''' to claimants 1804-1889. {{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313783}}. Also shows "parcel" numbers. ("parcel"=filing bundle, '''''not''''' a piece of land.)
 +
:::Vol. 4. Register of claimants 1854-1866. {{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313783}}. By chronological Commission lists number.
 +
:::Vol. 5. Register of claimants 1867-1885. {{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=FHL Film 1313783}}. Same as vol. 4.
 +
::[[Image:{{OLRbookindex}}]]<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
 +
:''If you find an ancestor's index entry'', photocopy it, or write down all the data.<br><br>
  
{| width="625" border="1" align="center" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"
+
:'''Original Records'''. Heir and Devisee Commission, '''''Land Records 1796-1894'''''. AO RG 40, series A-I. On {{FHL|219880|title-id|disp=100 films starting with FHL film 1313768}}. These records may explain a person's entitlement to land, such as military service or Loyalist ancestry. They may list the date of an application for land, the age of the applicant, and his place of birth.<br><br>
 +
 
 +
4. '''''Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804'''''. LAC RG1, L1.
 +
 
 +
:Four land boards were created in 1789 to administer land matters in Ontario's districts of [http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/maps/ontario-districts.aspx Hesse, Nassau, Mecklenburg, and Lunenburg]. The boards were disbanded in 1794. However, land board records also can include some papers from as early as 1765, or as late as 1804.<ref name="LBUC" />
 +
 
 +
:*Database instructions: [http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-boards-upper-canada/Pages/land-boards-upper-canada.aspx Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804]
 +
:*[http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-boards-upper-canada/Pages/search-land-boards-upper-canada.aspx Search: Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804] '''database''' search
 +
:*[https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/164539?availability=Family%20History%20Library Ontario Land Records Index, 1780s-1914 (OLRI)] (see 2A above) partially indexes Land Board records.
 +
 
 +
:'''Original Records'''. [http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205141 Minutes and records of the Land Boards accumulated by the Executive Council Office (LAC RG 1 L4)]. This '''database''' provides access to more than 16,400 references to individuals.<ref name="LBUC" />
 +
 
 +
:This series consists of minutes and reports of the Land Boards, as well as correspondence and instructions or regulations for their operations. The arrangement of the records is first by district, then in rough categories: minutes, correspondence, schedules of grants, etc. The order within those categories is chronological.<ref>Library and Archives Canada, ''Minutes and records of the Land Boards accumulated by the Executive Council Office [textual record]'' at {{blahblah}} (accessed 17 July 2014).</ref><br><br>
 +
 
 +
5. Executive Council, '''''Land minute books of the Executive Council, 1787-1841'''''. LAC RG 1 L1. Minute books (also known as Land Books) <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;record the deliberations and decisions of the Executive Council, sitting as a land committee concerning land business.<ref>Library and Archives Canada, ''Land minute books of the Executive Council [textual record]'' at http://{{qwerttrewq}} (accessed 23 July 2014).</ref> ''For indexes see:''
 +
 
 +
:*A table of contents and a name '''index''' of petitioners is generally found '''''within each&nbsp;''''' individual minute book.
 +
:*The LAC '''database''' called '''''Upper Canada Land Petitions (1763-1865)&nbsp;''''' at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/upper-canada-land/001097-100.01-e.php accesses more than 82,000 references to minutes books and petitions by individuals who lived in present-day Ontario between 1763 and 1865.
 +
:*A second LAC '''database''' is, '''''Land minutes Books of the Executive Council (textual record)&nbsp;''''' at http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&amp;lang=eng&amp;rec_nbr=205068&amp;rec_nbr_list=204926,204497,205068,205300,205141,205131,204493,205260,205063,204839 .
 +
:*''Finding Aid 1802'', a '''card index''', also known as the ''Upper Canada Land Index&nbsp;'' serves both the Land Books (Minutes of the Land Committee) in LAC RG 1 L1 and the Land Petitions in LAC RG 1 L3, for the provinces of Upper Canada, 1791-1841, and Canada, 1841-1867.
 +
::*The online '''card index''' is at http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&amp;lang=eng&amp;rec_nbr=205131. It indexes 82,000 individuals who lived in Ontario between 1763 and 1865.
 +
::*The LAC microfilm numbers list for this '''card index''' is at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-912.001.03-e.html.
 +
 
 +
:'''Original records.''' Upper Canada Land Books (LAC RG 1 L1).
 +
::*'''''[http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205068&rec_nbr_list=204926,204497,205068,205300,205141,205131,204493,205260,205063,204839 Land minutes Books of the Executive Council (textual record)]&nbsp;''''' LAC database.
 +
::*Online digitized records are listed at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-digitization/006003-110.02-e.php?&amp;q2=29&amp;interval=50&amp;sk=0&amp;&amp;PHPSESSID=npfo6qij0n1rpue06msk2mqnj1
 +
::*The LAC microfilm list of Land Petitions is at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-912.001.04-e.html<br><br>
 +
 
 +
6. Executive Council, '''''Land submissions to the Executive Council, 1783-1865'''''. LAC RG 1 L3.
 +
 
 +
:*The LAC '''database''' at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/upper-canada-land/001097-100.01-e.php accesses more than 82,000 references to petitions for grants or leases of land created by individuals who lived in present-day Ontario between 1763 and 1865.
 +
:*''Finding Aid 1802'', a '''card index''', also known as the ''Upper Canada Land Index&nbsp;'' serves both the Land Books (Minutes of the Land Committee) in LAC RG 1 L1 and the Land Petitions in LAC RG 1 L3, for the provinces of Upper Canada, 1791-1841, and Canada, 1841-1867.
 +
::*The online '''card index''' is at http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&amp;lang=eng&amp;rec_nbr=205131. It indexes 82,000 individuals who lived in Ontario between 1763 and 1865.
 +
::*The LAC microfilm numbers list for this '''card index''' is at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-912.001.03-e.html.
 +
 
 +
:'''Original records.''' Upper Canada Land Petitions (LAC RG 1 L3). Petitions and related records submitted to the Executive Council. The "land committee" dealt with all manner of petitions for grants and leases, requests for title deeds and reports from the Surveyor General or, after 1827, the Commissioner of Crown Lands.<ref>Library and Archives Canada, ''Land submissions to the Executive Council [textual record]'' at http://{{frependit}} (accessed 25 July 2014).</ref>
 +
::*'''''[http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205131 Land submissions to the Executive Council (textual record)]'''''. LAC database.
 +
::*LAC microfilms of these records are listed at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-digitization/006003-110.02-e.php?&amp;q2=29&amp;interval=50&amp;sk=0&amp;
 +
 
 +
{| width="650" border="1" align="center" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| valign="bottom" bgcolor="#ffff99" | <center>'''Can't find a name in any of these indexes?'''</center>  
 
| valign="bottom" bgcolor="#ffff99" | <center>'''Can't find a name in any of these indexes?'''</center>  
Line 158: Line 213:
 
*The name may have had different spellings, so [[Guessing a Name Variation|try variants]].  
 
*The name may have had different spellings, so [[Guessing a Name Variation|try variants]].  
 
*The person may have used a nickname, middle name, or initials.  
 
*The person may have used a nickname, middle name, or initials.  
*A woman may be listed under her maiden or married surname.
+
*A woman may be listed under her maiden or married surname.
 +
*Look for land purchased in unexpected years or places.
 +
*The land may have been purchased in the name of a relative; search for relatives.
  
 
|}
 
|}
 
<br>
 
  
 
==== Step 2. Search land records arranged by description  ====
 
==== Step 2. Search land records arranged by description  ====
  
===== <font size="+1">'''Find the land descriptions'''</font>  =====
+
You may also find an ancestor in '''''further&nbsp;''''' land records organized under the description of the land. In order to do this you must first identify their property (find the legal description). This legal description usually includes the county, township, concession number, and lot number.
  
#Locate your ancestor's name in the records listed in this section.
+
===== <font size="+2">'''Find the land descriptions'''</font>  =====
#Note the county name, township name, concession number (often written in Roman numerals), and lot number (usually in Arabic numerals) where your ancestor lived:
+
  
:County__________________ Township_____________________
+
Three types of records help identify an ancestor's land:<br>
  
:Concession number______________ Lot number______________
+
:*'''Land records with surname indexes''' (already explained in Step 1 above)
 +
:*'''Censuses'''
 +
:*'''Illustrated historical atlases'''<br>
  
:*'''''{{FHL|164539|title-id|disp=Ontario Archives Land Record Index}}''''' described previously.
+
'''Censuses'''  
  
====== '''''Censuses''''' ======
+
A census was taken in Ontario (a.k.a. Canada West) every ten years starting in 1851. Every person is listed by name in each census' ''personal&nbsp;'' or ''population&nbsp;'' schedules. In selected census years important land information was '''also''' listed in '''''separate''''' ''agricultural&nbsp;'' schedules, or listed in ''building and land&nbsp;'' schedules. These additional schedules show the county, township, concession and lot numbers of a person's land:
  
'''''Agricultural schedules, or buildings and lands schedules''''' in the 1851, 1861, or 1901 censuses. To find census film numbers, look in the FamilySearch Catalog '''Place Search''' under '''Canada''' and the topic {{FHL|Canada|subject|disp='''Census'''}}.  
+
:*'''1901 Census''' "Buildings and Lands, Churches and Schools" schedules follow each enumerator's population schedules.<br>
 +
:*'''1861 Census''' "Agricultural" schedules appear at the end of each county after all other personal schedules for all the towns in that county.<br>
 +
:*'''1851 Census''' "Agricultural" schedules follow each set of personal schedules.
  
====== '''''Illustrated historical atlases'''''  ======
+
:[[Image:1851 Ontario Ag Sched.jpg|900px|1851 Ontario Ag Sched.jpg]]<br>
  
for some southern counties, showing farm lot and concession numbers with the names of landowners in the late 1870s. The atlases are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog '''Place Search''' under the name of the '''county''' and the topic '''Maps'''. These oversize folios are located on the third floor of the library. Many are also available on microfilm. Most illustrated historical atlases are indexed in:
+
To learn more about Ontario census records in general see the [[Ontario Census]] Wiki page.  
  
::-[http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=The+Central+Canadians%2C+1600-1900 '''''The Central Canadians, 1600-1900''''']. '''FHL book 971.3 D22cc'''. 3 vols. Toronto: Genealogical Research Library, 1994. This index is in the Canada reference area. Look in the back of each volume for the keys to localities and sources. This index is also on compact disc available at the library attendant window on the third floor:
+
*'''''Online.''''' Links to online census indexes and images for Ontario are at:
  
::-[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/36308360&referer=brief_results '''''Canadian Genealogy Index, 1600s-1900s''''']. '''FHL compact disc no. 9, part 118'''. Family Tree Maker's Family Archives; 118. [Novato, Calif.]: Brøderbund, 1996. Containing over 2 million entries, this CD shows name, event, date, location, province, county, source (sometimes an illustrated historical atlas), and page.
+
{| width="80%" border="1" align="center" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"
 +
|-
 +
| width="95" valign="middle" align="center" rowspan="2" | '''1901 Ontario'''<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | '''Index:'''<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1901/Pages/1901.aspx Library and Archives Canada]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1584557 FamilySearch]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=8826 Ancestry]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [http://automatedgenealogy.com/census/index.jsp Automated Genealogy]<br>
 +
|-
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | '''Images:'''<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | see Advanced Search Options<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | -<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | Browse<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [http://automatedgenealogy.com/census/Province.jsp?province=ON Automated Genealogy]<br>
 +
|-
 +
| width="95" valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" rowspan="2" | '''1861 Canada West''' (Ontario)<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | '''Index:'''<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | [http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1861/Pages/1861.aspx Library and Archives Canada]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1460164 FamilySearch]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?htx=List&dbid=1570 Ancestry]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | <br>
 +
|-
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | '''Images:'''<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | see Advanced Search Options<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | -<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | Browse<br>
 +
| valign="middle" bgcolor="#ffccff" align="center" | <br>
 +
|-
 +
| width="95" valign="middle" align="center" rowspan="2" | '''1851 Canada West''' (Ontario)<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | '''Index:'''<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1851/Pages/1851.aspx Library and Archives Canada]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1325192 FamilySearch]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?htx=List&dbid=1061 Ancestry]<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [http://automatedgenealogy.com/census52/ Automated Genealogy]<br>
 +
|-
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | '''Images:'''<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | see Advanced Search Options<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | -<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | Browse<br>
 +
| valign="middle" align="center" | [http://automatedgenealogy.com/census52/Province.jsp?ew=w Automated Genealogy]<br>
 +
|}
  
::This ''Index'' is included on the internet at '''Ancestry.com''' available for free at the Family History Library and family history centers, or you can buy an Ancestry.com subscription. You can search this 220 million entry database, that includes the source, which may be an illustrated historical atlas.
+
*'''''Microfilms.''''' To see a description of those censuses, and their microfilm numbers, click the following Family History Library Catalog links:
  
===== <font size="+1">'''Use the land description to find the land records'''</font> =====
+
:*'''1901 Ontario Census''' {{FHL|635439|item|disp=FHL Films 1843540 to 1843591}}<br>  
 +
:*'''1861 Canada West Census''' {{FHL|179027|item|disp=FHL Films 349249 to 390251}}<br>  
 +
:*'''1851 Canada West Census''' {{FHL|177605|item|disp=FHL Films 283613 to 349248}} <br><br>
  
#Once you know the county, township name, concession number, and lot number, use this information to find the land records.  
+
''If you find an ancestor in one or more of these censuses'', write down the name of their county, township, concession number, and lot number.  
#Look for your ancestor's land records in the sources listed below:
+
  
====== '''''Township Papers, ca. 1783-1870's'''''  ======
+
[[Image:{{CarlHistAtlas}}]]'''Illustrated historical atlases'''<br><br>
  
On {{FHL|185567|title-id|disp=541 films beginning with '''FHL film 1319288'''}}. Ontario. Crown Lands Department. [Toronto]: Archives of Ontario, 1982. This series includes early records for most southern Ontario townships and some cities. Search alphabetically for the names of the townships and cities. Papers for lots in townships are arranged by concession and farm lot. Papers for cities are arranged alphabetically by owner's name. These records may include maps; petitions; correspondence about land disputes, including the names of ancestors; or military discharge papers showing the place of birth. These papers are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog '''Place Search''' under '''Ontario''' and the topic '''Land and Property'''.  
+
For some southern Ontario counties, illustrated historical atlases show farm lots and concession numbers with the names of landowners in the late 1860s and 1870s. The atlases are listed in the [https://familysearch.org/catalog-search Family History Library Catalog] '''Places Search''' under the name of the Ontario '''county''' with the topic '''Maps'''. Most of these oversize folios are in the [[Family History Library]]'s high density storage. For the location of copies of these atlases available at other repositories, view the [[WorldCat Online Catalog]]. Many are also available on microfilm. Most of Ontario's illustrated historical atlases are '''''indexed in:'''''
  
====== '''''Abstract Index Books of Deeds''''' ======
+
:*'''''The Central Canadians, 1600-1900''''', 3 vols. (Toronto: Genealogical Research Library, 1994). {{WorldCat|31055720|item|disp=At various repositories (WorldCat)}}. {{FHL|701096|item|disp=FHL book 971.3 D22cc}}. This index is in the FHL Canada reference area. Look in the back of each volume for the keys to localities and sources.
  
. . . give information about property in a particular township, but they are listed by county in the catalog. Search the FamilySearch Catalog '''Place Search''' under the name of the '''county''' and the topics '''Land and Property''' or '''Land and Property — Indexes'''. ''Abstract Index Books'' are arranged by county, township, concession, and lot numbers. They tell what happened to a particular piece of property through time, from the date of the original grant or patent to as late as 1959. '''Memorial numbers''' (file numbers) are listed for each transaction (sale or will).  
+
:*'''''Canadian Genealogy Index, 1600s-1900s.''''' Family Tree Maker's Family Archives; 118. ([Novato, Calif.]: Brøderbund, 1996). {{WorldCat|36308360|item|disp=At various repositories (WorldCat).}} {{FHL|782798|item|disp=FHL Compact Disc no. 9, part 118}}. Contains over 2 million entries, this CD shows name, event, date, location, province, county, source (sometimes an illustrated historical atlas), and page.
  
:Memorial number____________________________
+
::This latter '''''Index&nbsp;''''' is also on the Internet at '''[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7920 Ancestry.com]''' available for free at the [[Family History Library]] and [[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers|family history centers]], or you can buy an Ancestry.com subscription. You can search this 220 million entry database, that includes each entry's source, which is often an illustrated historical atlas.<br><br>
  
====== '''''Deeds'''''  ======
+
''If you find an ancestor in one of these atlases'', write down the name of the ancestor's county, township, concession number, and lot number.
  
With a memorial number for the years prior to 1880, you can look for deed records. If the library has copies, deed books are found in the FamilySearch Catalog '''Place Search''' under the name of the '''county''' and the topic '''Land and Property'''.  
+
===== <font size="+1">'''Use the land description to find the land records'''</font>  =====
 +
 
 +
Once you know the county, township name, concession number, and lot number, you can use this information to find an ancestor's land records. Be sure to note who sold the property to your ancestor, and who obtained the property from your ancestor—these are potential relatives. Look for the ancestor's land records in these sources:
 +
 
 +
*Ontario. Crown Lands Department. '''''Township Papers, ca. 1783-1870's''''' ([Toronto]: Archives of Ontario, 1982). On {{FHL|185567|title-id|disp=541 films beginning with '''FHL film 1319288'''}}. This series includes early records for most southern Ontario townships and some cities. Search alphabetically for the names of the townships and cities. Papers for lots in townships are arranged by concession and farm lot. Papers for cities are arranged alphabetically by owner's name. These records may include maps; petitions; correspondence about land disputes, including the names of ancestors; or military discharge papers showing the place of birth.
 +
 
 +
*'''''Abstract Index Books of Deeds.''''' These books have information about property in a particular township, but they are listed by county in the [[Family History Library Catalog]]. Use the Family History Library Catalog '''Places Search''' under the name of the '''county''' and the topics '''Land and Property''' or '''Land and Property — Indexes'''. ''For example:''
 +
 
 +
::*''Canada, Ontario, Grey — Land and property''
 +
::*''Canada, Ontario, Welland — Land and property — Indexes''
 +
 
 +
:''Abstract Index Books'' are arranged by county, township, concession, and lot numbers. They tell what happened to a particular piece of property through time, from the date of the original grant or patent to as late as 1959. The grantors (sellers) and grantees (buyers) are listed and should be considered candidates to be relatives. '''Memorial numbers''' (file numbers, or Number of Instrument) are also listed for each transaction (sale or will). ''If you find it'', write down the ''memorial number'' of an ancestor's property for use looking up the deed.<br>
 +
 
 +
:[[Image:Ontario Land 170913.jpg|900px|Ontario Land 170913.jpg]]<br>
 +
 
 +
*'''Deeds.''' If you have a memorial number for the years prior to 1880, you can look for deed records. If the library has copies, deed books are found in the Family History Library Catalog '''Places Search''' under the name of the '''county''' and the topic '''Land and Property'''.<br><br>
  
After you have searched the records in this guide, there are other land records that may be valuable to search. These records can be found using the FamilySearch Catalog '''Place Search''' under '''Ontario''', or the name of the '''county''', and the topic '''Land and Property'''.  
+
After you have searched the land records described above, there are still more land records that may be valuable to search. These records can be found using the Family History Library Catalog '''Places Search''' under '''Ontario''', or the name of the '''county''', and the topic '''Land and Property'''.  
  
 
==== Step 3. Search for probate records  ====
 
==== Step 3. Search for probate records  ====
Line 216: Line 330:
 
When individuals died, their land was usually sold or transferred to an heir or creditor. Usually a person's last will and testament was copied either into a deed book at a land registry office, or into a probate record at the probate court or surrogate court to make a land transfer official.  
 
When individuals died, their land was usually sold or transferred to an heir or creditor. Usually a person's last will and testament was copied either into a deed book at a land registry office, or into a probate record at the probate court or surrogate court to make a land transfer official.  
  
:Copies of the will or probate papers are rarely filed in both the land registry office and the court. But probate papers in the land registry are a hint that you may find some additional related papers in court records.
+
:Copies of the will or probate papers are rarely filed in both the land registry office and the court. But probate papers in the land registry are a hint that you may find some additional related papers in court records.<br><br>
  
 
===== Probate Registers and Estate Files  =====
 
===== Probate Registers and Estate Files  =====
Line 230: Line 344:
 
*Catherine Shepard, '''''Surrogate Court Records Index, 1793–1858'''''. (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, [1988]). {{WorldCat|63068981|item|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}. {{FHL|551408|title-id|disp=FHL Fiche 6334160}}. This index may list dates, volume and page numbers, and the county that received the pre-1854 records.
 
*Catherine Shepard, '''''Surrogate Court Records Index, 1793–1858'''''. (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, [1988]). {{WorldCat|63068981|item|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}. {{FHL|551408|title-id|disp=FHL Fiche 6334160}}. This index may list dates, volume and page numbers, and the county that received the pre-1854 records.
  
:*For film numbers of indexed records, check the FamilySearch Catalog '''Place Search''' under the name of the '''county''' and the topic '''Probate Records'''.
+
:*For film numbers of indexed records, check the Family History Library Catalog '''Place Search''' under the name of the '''county''' and the topic '''Probate Records'''.
  
 
More recent surrogate court records can also be found under the same catalog '''Place Search''' heading. For a county-by-county index see:  
 
More recent surrogate court records can also be found under the same catalog '''Place Search''' heading. For a county-by-county index see:  
Line 236: Line 350:
 
*June Gibson, '''''Surrogate Court Index of Ontario, Canada, 1859-1900''''', 27 vols. (Agincourt, Ont.: Generation Press, 1988-&nbsp;). {{WorldCat|18015848|item|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}. {{FHL|643863|item|disp=FHL Book 971.3 P22g}} This index lists name, locality, will number, and year proved. A table in each volume lists the Archives of Ontario microfilm reel numbers that are indexed in that volume.
 
*June Gibson, '''''Surrogate Court Index of Ontario, Canada, 1859-1900''''', 27 vols. (Agincourt, Ont.: Generation Press, 1988-&nbsp;). {{WorldCat|18015848|item|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}. {{FHL|643863|item|disp=FHL Book 971.3 P22g}} This index lists name, locality, will number, and year proved. A table in each volume lists the Archives of Ontario microfilm reel numbers that are indexed in that volume.
  
=== Search other record types  ===
+
==== Step 4. Search other record types  ====
  
If you cannot locate land records for your ancestor, you could also search '''Church Records, Censuses, Directories, Military Records''', or '''Taxation'''. For details about the value, use, and availability of these and other record types, see the [[Ontario|'''Ontario''']] Wiki page and [[Canada|'''Canada''']] Wiki page.
+
If you cannot locate land records for your ancestor, you could also use the Family History Library Catalog Places Search for the appropriate locality and topics like '''Church Records, Censuses, Directories, Military Records''', or '''Taxation'''. For details about the value, use, and availability of these and other record types, see the [[Ontario|'''Ontario''']] Wiki page, and [[Canada|'''Canada''']] Wiki page.  
  
 
=== Bibliography  ===
 
=== Bibliography  ===
Line 244: Line 358:
 
For a detailed discussion of land records see:  
 
For a detailed discussion of land records see:  
  
*Brenda Dougall Merriman, ''Genealogy in Ontario: Searching the Records, 3rd ed'' (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1996). {{WorldCat|34830005|item|disp=At various repositories (WorldCat)}}. {{FHL|1349402|item|disp=FHL book 971.3 D27m 1996}}. Pages 89-114 discuss land records, explaining key dates, townships, concessions, lots, the land grant process, the ''Ontario Archives Land Record Index'', abstract index books, the registry system; and include several document facsimiles.  
+
*Brenda Dougall Merriman, ''Genealogy in Ontario: Searching the Records, 3rd ed'' (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1996). {{WorldCat|34830005|item|disp=At various repositories (WorldCat)}}. {{FHL|1349402|item|disp=FHL book 971.3 D27m 1996}}. Pages 89-114 discuss land records, explaining key dates, townships, concessions, lots, the land grant process, the ''Ontario Archives Land Record Index'', abstract index books, the registry system; and include several document facsimiles.
  
*Archives of Ontario, "From Grant to Patent: A Guide to Early Land Settlement Records, ca.1790 to ca.1850" (Archives of Ontario Research Guide 215) at [http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_215_grant_to_patent.pdf. (accessed 13 March 2014).
+
*Archives of Ontario,&nbsp;[http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_215_grant_to_patent.pdf From Grant to Patent: A Guide to Early Land Settlement Records, ca.1790 to ca.1850]. (Research Guide 215). Discusses the Ontario Land Records Index, petitions, land board records, Heir and Devisee Commission land disputes, land promoters, township papers, surveyor notes, correspondece, maps, patents, and land registry office records.
  
=== Sources  ===
+
'''Related Websites'''
  
{{reflist}}
+
*Archives of Ontario, [http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_225_resources_for_researching_land_records.pdf Researching Ontario Land Records]. (Research Guide 225). Briefly describes the land ownership process and shows several record groups pertaining to land records.
 +
*Archives of Ontario, [http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_205_land_records.pdf Using the Ontario Land Records Index ca. 1780-ca. 1920] (Research Guide 205). What it is, how it is organized, where it is available, what you need to know, how to use it, index examples, and index code explanations.
 +
*Ontario Genealogy, [http://www.ontariogenealogy.com/uppercanadalandpetitions/s_landpetition.html Upper Canada Land Petition Indexes]. You can search their index by name.
  
To search many of the land records, it helps to know the township of residence and land description. Begin by searching for your ancestor's name in the record indexes listed under [[Ontario Land Records#Step_1._Search_land_records_having_surname_indexes|'''Step 1''']].  
+
*[http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-boards-upper-canada/Pages/land-boards-upper-canada.aspx Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804]. This database provides access to more than 16,400 references to individuals in the [http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205141 Minutes and records of the Land Boards accumulated by the Executive Council Office (LAC RG 1 L4)].
 +
*[http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=fra&rec_nbr=205068 Land minute books of the Executive Council (LAC RG 1 L1)]. These records are commonly known as the "Land Books". The sequence of entries within the volumes is chronological, such that a report appears according to the date of its presentation, rather than by its date of preparation.
 +
*[http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-petitions-lower-canada-1764-1841/Pages/land-petitions-lower-canada.aspx Land Petitions of Lower Canada, 1764-1841]. This database provides access to more than 95,000 references to individuals in [http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=204826 Executive Council Office of the Province of Lower Canada (LAC RG 1 L3L)].
 +
*[http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/tracing/the_records.aspx Land records held by the Archives of Ontario] Both the (i) Crown land records for property owned by the government, and (ii) land registry records for privately owned property.  
 +
*[http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205131 Land submissions to the Executive Council (LAC RG 1 L3)]. Petitions for grants and leases, requests for title deeds, a variety of certificates and other documentation submitted in support of individual requests, and reports from the Surveyor General.
 +
*[http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/tape17/PQDD_0014/NQ28362.pdf The first business of government: the land granting administration of Upper Canada, David Moorman. (PDF 19,827 KB)]  
 +
*[http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-912-e.html What to Search: Land]
 +
*[http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-912-e.html What to Search: Military - Loyalists]
  
Some land records are arranged geographically by land description and include no surname indexes. To search these records, use the description of the land where your ancestor lived, including the township name, concession number, and lot number as described in [[Ontario Land Records#Step_2._Search_land_records_arranged_by_description|'''Step 2''']].
+
=== Sources  ===
  
Most southern Ontario townships are divided into strips of land, called '''''concessions''''', which run from one border of the township to the other. Each concession includes farm lots of 100 or 200 acres. Lot 1 in the First Concession joins Lot 1 in the Second Concession, which in turn joins Lot 1 in the Third, as shown below. As you search the land records, record the concession and lot number of your ancestor's land.
+
{{reflist}}  
 
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{{Ontario}}</div>  
{| width="480" border="1" align="center" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1"
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[[Category:Ontario]] [[Category:Canada]] [[Category:Land_and_Property]]
|+ '''Example Divisions of Ontario Townships'''
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|-
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| width="50" valign="middle" bgcolor="#cccccc" align="center" | I
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| width="50" valign="middle" bgcolor="#cccccc" align="center" | II
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| width="50" valign="middle" bgcolor="#cccccc" align="center" | III
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| width="50" valign="middle" bgcolor="#cccccc" align="center" | IV
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| width="50" valign="middle" bgcolor="#cccccc" align="center" | V
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| width="50" valign="middle" bgcolor="#cccccc" align="center" | VI
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| width="50" valign="middle" bgcolor="#cccccc" align="center" | VII
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| width="50" valign="middle" bgcolor="#cccccc" align="center" | VIII
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|-
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| width="50" valign="middle" align="center" | 1
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|-
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|-
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| width="50" valign="middle" align="center" | 3
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|}
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<center><font size="-2">'''Concession numbers in Roman numerals. Lot numbers in Arabic numerals.'''</font></center> The indexes and records described in this guide are also listed in the {{FHL|350602|subject-id|disp='''Place Search''' of the FamilySearch Catalog under '''Ontario''' and the topic '''Land and Property'''}}.{{-}} </div>  
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[[Category:Canada|Canada]] [[Category:Ontario|Ontario]] [[Category:Half-Sheets]]
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Revision as of 15:32, 29 July 2014

Canada Gotoarrow.png Ontario Gotoarrow.png Ontario Land and Property Gotoarrow.png Ontario Land Records

Contents

Land survey marker at Rattlesnake Point, Milton, Ontario.

Introduction

Land record indexes are among the best tools for locating residents in Ontario before 1851 when few censuses and other province-wide records or indexes exist. Many immigrants came to Ontario to claim available land, so land ownership was generally recorded soon after they arrived. Also, wills were often copied into deed books and other land records instead of in probate records. Land records sometimes exist when other records are not available.

Ontario land records history. The earliest European settlers in Ontario came from France, Ireland, Scotland, and England. They were often attracted by the opportunity to own land. The British crown (government) frequently offered prospective settlers free land grants. The continuing settlement of Ontario was enhanced by large numbers of land grants to American Loyalists and their children who began moving into Ontario during the American War for Independence which started in 1775. In 1789 Land Boards were established in four Ontario districts (Hesse, Nassau, Mecklenburg, and Lunenburg) to better organize the land granting process. In 1791 Upper Canada (Ontario) was separated from Lower Canada (Quebec), so many land records of Ontario before 1791 are still  in Quebec land records. In 1794 Ontario Land Boards were dissolved— their authority and records were then transferred to the more centralized Executive Council.[1]

What you need to know to get started

To search these land records, it helps to know:

  • Ancestor's name
  • County of residence
  • Township of residence (if known)

Kinds of information in Ontario land records

  • where and when ancestors lived in an area
  • the name of spouses, heirs, and other relatives
  • the names of neighbors (potentially relatives)
  • where ancestors lived previously
  • the occupation of ancestors
  • the relationship of ancestors to a Loyalist ancestor
  • when ancestors left the area and where they were moving
  • who transferred the land to an ancestor, and the person to whom the ancestor transferred it—people who are possibly relatives

Types of records found in Ontario land records

  • immigrant lists
  • petitions for land grants
  • leases, indexes, and registers
  • case files and commission records
  • claims and reports
  • occasional wills and estate papers

Limitations

Ontario land records do not consistently show all the same information, even within the same record, or for the same piece of property over the years. Be prepared to supplement land records with other types of records. Only by comparing and contrasting all the available sources can you build the most complete and accurate picture of the life of an ancestor.

Using Ontario Land Records

Some Ontario land records are indexed. Others are not indexed, but are organized geographically by their legal land description which includes the county, township, concession number, and lot number. To find an ancestor in Ontario land records follow these steps:

Step 1. Search the land records with surname indexes

Search ALL of the following records because each has different names and data than the others. Your ancestor may be in more than one.

  1. Executive Council, Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867. LAC RG 1, L3.
  2. Crown Lands Department, Land records, ca. 1792-1876. AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III. Partially indexed in the Archives of Ontario, Ontario Archives Land Record Index, 1780s-1914.
  3. Heir and Devisee Commission, Land Records 1796-1894. AO RG 40, series A-I.
  4. Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804. LAC RG1, L1.
  5. Executive Council, Land minute books of the Executive Council, 1787-1841. LAC RG 1 L1.
  6. Executive Council, Land submissions to the Executive Council, 1783-1865. LAC RG 1 L3.
Each of the six sets of records above are described individually and in greater detail below.
Indexes and Databases. Search each index (or database) for an ancestor's name in each of the these types of Ontario land records. If you find an ancestor, photocopy the index (or database) entry.
Original Records. If you find your ancestor listed in any of the indexes, obtain and view the corresponding land records. Find copies of the land records using all the data from the index, such as the year, township, file number, volume and page number to identify the corresponding land record's microfilm number, or identify it in the associated database. When you find the land record, make photocopies for your files.
Repositories  which provide access to some or all of these records include:
  1. Executive Council, Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867. A surname card index to:
    • Land Books (Minutes of the Land Committee) in LAC RG 1 L1,
    • Land Petitions in LAC RG 1 L3, for Upper Canada (Ontario) 1791-1841, and Canada 1841-1867.
For an index of these petiions, see:
Even if the online index  does not include a name, the card index on microfilm may include a reference to an entry  in the Land Books where the decisions to accept or reject a petition were recorded.[2]

Index cards for these minute books or petitions will look like this example:
Example of Index.jpg
Note: Present-day Ontario was part of Quebec before 1791. Many petitions submitted by people living in Ontario before 1791 can be found in Quebec's Lower Canada Land Petitions, 1764-1841.[1]

If you find an ancestor's index entry, photocopy it, or write down the following:
Index film number (from FHL Catalog)__________________________________
Name______________________ Townships________________________ Year_________
Petitions or Minute Book_______ Bundle number___________ Petition number__________
Bundle film number (from FHL Catalog)_________________________________

Original Records. Executive Council, Petitions for Land Grants and Leases, 1791-1867. LAC RG 1, L3. On 374 films starting with FHL film 1832344. These petitions may describe a land applicant's military service or relationship to a Loyalist ancestor. They may also list the names and ages of family members.

2. Land Petitions and Related Records, 1637-1842 (AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III) have two sets of indexes:

A. Archives of Ontario, Ontario Land Record Index (OLRI), 1780s-1914. The OLRI[3] [4] is a partial index. Its Archives of Ontario
      fiche numbers are listed at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/microfilm/crown_land_records_microfiche.aspx
The Family History Library Fiche 6330425-6330477 contain the surname index, and FHL Fiche 6049631 has the key to symbols. The surname section of this index gives the township name and lot and concession numbers for original government grants. The listed dates are petition or patent filing dates, not dates of arrival. Letter codes refer to the type of grant, lease, or sale.

Example of Ontario Archives Land Record Index.jpg

If you find an ancestor's index entry, photocopy it, or write down all the data.

B. Crown Lands Department, Land Petitions and Related Records, 1637-1842. AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III. 289 films starting 1316141.
      As well as the index in 2A above, there are also many additional  indexes and alphabetical lists mentioned within 
      these land records. For example, the indexes cited in just the first half  of these records are listed below:
  • Petitions (AO RG 1, series C-I-1), 1827-1860 Ab-Z
  • Petitions of misc. nature, A-Z
  • Photocopy transcripts of memorials to the commissioners and Haldimand, 1827-1860
  • Petitions for licenses as provincial land surveyors, 1827-1860 A-Y
  • Registers of petitions, 1835-1837 (v. 57, indexed), 1836-1842 (v. 58), 1840-1851 (v. 59-61), 1852-1855 (v. 62) 1845-1849 (v. 63)
  • Register of applications (sent to the executive council), 1849-1865
  • Registers of applications for specific lots, 1828-1851
  • Registers of applications (prior to 1832, advertised by orders-in-council, 1839), 1839-1842
  • Index to petition reg., 1840-1845
  • Index to vols. 59-62, petition reg., 1840-1855
  • Additional Petitions (AO RG 1, series C-I-1) ca. 1827- ca. 1860 A-Z
  • Orders-in-Council (AO RG 1, ser. C-I-2), 1796-1844 (arranged by surname) A-Z (arranged by place and subject) A-Y
  • Regulations establishing parts of land under quit rent system, orders-in- council, 1825
  • Schedule of names of persons who received orders-in-council in their favor, 1796-1797
  • Schedules under orders-in-council ruling April 4, 1839 (1839, 1842-1844, grouped by district)
  • Fiats and warrants (series C-I-3) ca 1796-? A-Z
  • Fiats, old and new regulations (series C-I-3, 2nd) ca. 1796-? Bundles 265 (v. 9) to Bundles 7142 (v. 31)
  • Warrants Bundles 1 1816 (v. 32) to Bundles 5850 1869 (v. 54)
  • Register for warrants (R.J. no. 2) no. 1-366 (v. 54) 1819-1873
  • Index to warrants no. 1-366 (v. 55) 1820-1845 Index to warrants (books 4 and 6, R.J. no. 2) (v. 56) Index to warrants (v. 57) 1816-1869
  • Partial index for U.E. & M.C. fiats for volumes 58 through part of 61, numerically arranged. no. 1-3000 1797-1816
  • Warrants (v. 58) no. 1-800 1797-1807 to Warrants (v. 79) no. 6601-6723, 1850-1859?
  • Docket book for warrants (v. 80, indexed) 1798-1811
  • U. E. Loyalists and military claimants fiats and warrants (v. 81); fiats, 1811-1823 (indexed); warrants, 1818-1823
  • Fiats (U. E. Loyalists, v. 82, indexed), 1823-1837
  • Warrants (U. E. Loyalists, v. 83-85) 1823-1865
  • Fiats, Commission (v. 86) bundles 1-200 1812-1819 to Fiats, Commission (v. 89) bundles 2801-3016, 1852-1854
  • Fiats, Commission (v. 90-92) 1796-1854
  • Fiats (military emigrants (M. E.), v. 93) bundles 1-191, 1821-1824 to Fiats (M.E., v. 96-97, indexed) 1821-1858
  • Immigrants located by Quartermaster-General's Dept. (v. 98, indexed) 1815-1822
  • Orders-in-Council military settlement lands grants (v. 99, indexed) 1819-1830

If you find an ancestor's index entry, photocopy it, or write down all the data.

Original Records. Crown Lands Department, Land records, ca. 1792-1876. AO RG 1, series C-I to C-III. On 289 films starting with FHL film 1316141. (Note: Series C-II starts with FHL film 1376318; Series C-III starts with FHL film 1376303.) Use the transaction type, record group (RG) number, volume, and page number in the Index to find the film number. Search each alphabetical sequence in these land records even if your ancestor was in the microfiche Index. Land record types include petitions, fiats, warrants, registers, assignments, clergy reserves, leases, sales, and Indian lands.


3. Heir and Devisee Commission, Land Records 1796-1894. AO RG 40, series A-I. Second Heir and Devisee Commission Case Files.

The government created the Heir and Devisee Commissions to settle disputes about who was entitled to receive the letters patent for a parcel of land.[5] For indexes see:

Microfilm card index of claims case files 1804-1895 example.
  • Microfilm card index of claims case files 1804-1895
A-D   FHL Film 1313779
E-L    FHL Film 1313780
M-R   FHL Film 1313781
S-Y    FHL Film 1313782

  • Book indexes (bound indices). 5 vols.
Vol. 1. Index to claimants 1829-1853. FHL Film 1313782. Shows lot,
            concesstion, township, year, and commission number.
Vol. 2. Index to claimants 1804-1883. FHL Film 1313782. Same as v. 1.
Vol. 3. Index to claimants 1804-1889. FHL Film 1313783. Also shows "parcel" numbers. ("parcel"=filing bundle, not a piece of land.)
Vol. 4. Register of claimants 1854-1866. FHL Film 1313783. By chronological Commission lists number.
Vol. 5. Register of claimants 1867-1885. FHL Film 1313783. Same as vol. 4.
Book index to claimants 1829-1853, vol 1. Example from a page of surnames starting with the letter "B".


























If you find an ancestor's index entry, photocopy it, or write down all the data.

Original Records. Heir and Devisee Commission, Land Records 1796-1894. AO RG 40, series A-I. On 100 films starting with FHL film 1313768. These records may explain a person's entitlement to land, such as military service or Loyalist ancestry. They may list the date of an application for land, the age of the applicant, and his place of birth.

4. Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804. LAC RG1, L1.

Four land boards were created in 1789 to administer land matters in Ontario's districts of Hesse, Nassau, Mecklenburg, and Lunenburg. The boards were disbanded in 1794. However, land board records also can include some papers from as early as 1765, or as late as 1804.[1]
Original Records. Minutes and records of the Land Boards accumulated by the Executive Council Office (LAC RG 1 L4). This database provides access to more than 16,400 references to individuals.[1]
This series consists of minutes and reports of the Land Boards, as well as correspondence and instructions or regulations for their operations. The arrangement of the records is first by district, then in rough categories: minutes, correspondence, schedules of grants, etc. The order within those categories is chronological.[6]

5. Executive Council, Land minute books of the Executive Council, 1787-1841. LAC RG 1 L1. Minute books (also known as Land Books)
      record the deliberations and decisions of the Executive Council, sitting as a land committee concerning land business.[7] For indexes see:

Original records. Upper Canada Land Books (LAC RG 1 L1).

6. Executive Council, Land submissions to the Executive Council, 1783-1865. LAC RG 1 L3.

  • The LAC database at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/upper-canada-land/001097-100.01-e.php accesses more than 82,000 references to petitions for grants or leases of land created by individuals who lived in present-day Ontario between 1763 and 1865.
  • Finding Aid 1802, a card index, also known as the Upper Canada Land Index  serves both the Land Books (Minutes of the Land Committee) in LAC RG 1 L1 and the Land Petitions in LAC RG 1 L3, for the provinces of Upper Canada, 1791-1841, and Canada, 1841-1867.
Original records. Upper Canada Land Petitions (LAC RG 1 L3). Petitions and related records submitted to the Executive Council. The "land committee" dealt with all manner of petitions for grants and leases, requests for title deeds and reports from the Surveyor General or, after 1827, the Commissioner of Crown Lands.[8]
Can't find a name in any of these indexes?

Before concluding that your ancestor is not listed in Ontario land records, consider the following:

  • The name may have had different spellings, so try variants.
  • The person may have used a nickname, middle name, or initials.
  • A woman may be listed under her maiden or married surname.
  • Look for land purchased in unexpected years or places.
  • The land may have been purchased in the name of a relative; search for relatives.

Step 2. Search land records arranged by description

You may also find an ancestor in further  land records organized under the description of the land. In order to do this you must first identify their property (find the legal description). This legal description usually includes the county, township, concession number, and lot number.

Find the land descriptions

Three types of records help identify an ancestor's land:

  • Land records with surname indexes (already explained in Step 1 above)
  • Censuses
  • Illustrated historical atlases

Censuses

A census was taken in Ontario (a.k.a. Canada West) every ten years starting in 1851. Every person is listed by name in each census' personal  or population  schedules. In selected census years important land information was also listed in separate agricultural  schedules, or listed in building and land  schedules. These additional schedules show the county, township, concession and lot numbers of a person's land:

  • 1901 Census "Buildings and Lands, Churches and Schools" schedules follow each enumerator's population schedules.
  • 1861 Census "Agricultural" schedules appear at the end of each county after all other personal schedules for all the towns in that county.
  • 1851 Census "Agricultural" schedules follow each set of personal schedules.
1851 Ontario Ag Sched.jpg

To learn more about Ontario census records in general see the Ontario Census Wiki page.

  • Online. Links to online census indexes and images for Ontario are at:
1901 Ontario
Index:
Library and Archives Canada
FamilySearch
Ancestry
Automated Genealogy
Images:
see Advanced Search Options
-
Browse
Automated Genealogy
1861 Canada West (Ontario)
Index:
Library and Archives Canada
FamilySearch
Ancestry

Images:
see Advanced Search Options
-
Browse

1851 Canada West (Ontario)
Index:
Library and Archives Canada
FamilySearch
Ancestry
Automated Genealogy
Images:
see Advanced Search Options
-
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Automated Genealogy
  • Microfilms. To see a description of those censuses, and their microfilm numbers, click the following Family History Library Catalog links:

If you find an ancestor in one or more of these censuses, write down the name of their county, township, concession number, and lot number.

Illustrated Historical Atlas of the County of Carleton (Including City of Ottawa), Ont., 1879, page 70.
Illustrated historical atlases

For some southern Ontario counties, illustrated historical atlases show farm lots and concession numbers with the names of landowners in the late 1860s and 1870s. The atlases are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Places Search under the name of the Ontario county with the topic Maps. Most of these oversize folios are in the Family History Library's high density storage. For the location of copies of these atlases available at other repositories, view the WorldCat Online Catalog. Many are also available on microfilm. Most of Ontario's illustrated historical atlases are indexed in:

  • Canadian Genealogy Index, 1600s-1900s. Family Tree Maker's Family Archives; 118. ([Novato, Calif.]: Brøderbund, 1996). At various repositories (WorldCat). FHL Compact Disc no. 9, part 118. Contains over 2 million entries, this CD shows name, event, date, location, province, county, source (sometimes an illustrated historical atlas), and page.
This latter Index  is also on the Internet at Ancestry.com available for free at the Family History Library and family history centers, or you can buy an Ancestry.com subscription. You can search this 220 million entry database, that includes each entry's source, which is often an illustrated historical atlas.

If you find an ancestor in one of these atlases, write down the name of the ancestor's county, township, concession number, and lot number.

Use the land description to find the land records

Once you know the county, township name, concession number, and lot number, you can use this information to find an ancestor's land records. Be sure to note who sold the property to your ancestor, and who obtained the property from your ancestor—these are potential relatives. Look for the ancestor's land records in these sources:

  • Ontario. Crown Lands Department. Township Papers, ca. 1783-1870's ([Toronto]: Archives of Ontario, 1982). On 541 films beginning with FHL film 1319288. This series includes early records for most southern Ontario townships and some cities. Search alphabetically for the names of the townships and cities. Papers for lots in townships are arranged by concession and farm lot. Papers for cities are arranged alphabetically by owner's name. These records may include maps; petitions; correspondence about land disputes, including the names of ancestors; or military discharge papers showing the place of birth.
  • Abstract Index Books of Deeds. These books have information about property in a particular township, but they are listed by county in the Family History Library Catalog. Use the Family History Library Catalog Places Search under the name of the county and the topics Land and Property or Land and Property — Indexes. For example:
  • Canada, Ontario, Grey — Land and property
  • Canada, Ontario, Welland — Land and property — Indexes
Abstract Index Books are arranged by county, township, concession, and lot numbers. They tell what happened to a particular piece of property through time, from the date of the original grant or patent to as late as 1959. The grantors (sellers) and grantees (buyers) are listed and should be considered candidates to be relatives. Memorial numbers (file numbers, or Number of Instrument) are also listed for each transaction (sale or will). If you find it, write down the memorial number of an ancestor's property for use looking up the deed.
Ontario Land 170913.jpg
  • Deeds. If you have a memorial number for the years prior to 1880, you can look for deed records. If the library has copies, deed books are found in the Family History Library Catalog Places Search under the name of the county and the topic Land and Property.

After you have searched the land records described above, there are still more land records that may be valuable to search. These records can be found using the Family History Library Catalog Places Search under Ontario, or the name of the county, and the topic Land and Property.

Step 3. Search for probate records

When individuals died, their land was usually sold or transferred to an heir or creditor. Usually a person's last will and testament was copied either into a deed book at a land registry office, or into a probate record at the probate court or surrogate court to make a land transfer official.

Copies of the will or probate papers are rarely filed in both the land registry office and the court. But probate papers in the land registry are a hint that you may find some additional related papers in court records.

Probate Registers and Estate Files

The Abstract Index Books, listed under Step 2, are the major indexes to wills recorded or memorialized in deed books. If land records show the person's estate was proved or probated before a court, look for additional information about the person in one of the following sources:

  • Bill Zuefelt, Court of Probate: Registers and Estate Files at the Archives of Ontario (1793-1859): an Index for Genealogical Research. ([Toronto]: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1986). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 971.3 P2z. This record indexes:
  • Upper Canada. Court of Probate, Probate Registers, 1793-1858; and Estate Files, 1793-1859 (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982). On 41 films beginning with FHL film 1312313. The probate registers may include wills, administrations, guardianships, or citations of next of kin. Estate files may include inventories, administration papers, bonds, affidavits, letters, or wills.
Surrogate Court Records Index
  • Catherine Shepard, Surrogate Court Records Index, 1793–1858. (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, [1988]). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Fiche 6334160. This index may list dates, volume and page numbers, and the county that received the pre-1854 records.
  • For film numbers of indexed records, check the Family History Library Catalog Place Search under the name of the county and the topic Probate Records.

More recent surrogate court records can also be found under the same catalog Place Search heading. For a county-by-county index see:

  • June Gibson, Surrogate Court Index of Ontario, Canada, 1859-1900, 27 vols. (Agincourt, Ont.: Generation Press, 1988- ). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 971.3 P22g This index lists name, locality, will number, and year proved. A table in each volume lists the Archives of Ontario microfilm reel numbers that are indexed in that volume.

Step 4. Search other record types

If you cannot locate land records for your ancestor, you could also use the Family History Library Catalog Places Search for the appropriate locality and topics like Church Records, Censuses, Directories, Military Records, or Taxation. For details about the value, use, and availability of these and other record types, see the Ontario Wiki page, and Canada Wiki page.

Bibliography

For a detailed discussion of land records see:

  • Brenda Dougall Merriman, Genealogy in Ontario: Searching the Records, 3rd ed (Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1996). At various repositories (WorldCat). FHL book 971.3 D27m 1996. Pages 89-114 discuss land records, explaining key dates, townships, concessions, lots, the land grant process, the Ontario Archives Land Record Index, abstract index books, the registry system; and include several document facsimiles.

Related Websites

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Library and Archives Canada, Land Boards of Upper Canada, 1765-1804 at http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/land/land-boards-upper-canada/Pages/land-boards-upper-canada.aspx (accessed 16 July 2014).
  2. Archives of Ontario, Researching Crown Land Records, Research Guide 225 at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_225_resources_for_researching_land_records.pdf (accessed 15 July 2014), 4.
  3. Archives of Ontario, Using the Ontario Land Records Index ca. 1780-ca. 1920, Research Guide 205 at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_205_land_records.pdf (accessed 15 July 2014).
  4. Archives of Ontario, Researching Crown Land Records, Research Guide 225 at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_225_resources_for_researching_land_records.pdf (accessed 15 July 2014).
  5. Archives of Ontario, From Grant to Patent: A Guide to Early Land Settlement Records, ca.1790 to ca.1850, Archives of Ontario Research Guide 215 at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_215_grant_to_patent.pdf (accessed 23 July 2014).
  6. Library and Archives Canada, Minutes and records of the Land Boards accumulated by the Executive Council Office [textual record] at http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205141 (accessed 17 July 2014).
  7. Library and Archives Canada, Land minute books of the Executive Council [textual record] at http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205068 (accessed 23 July 2014).
  8. Library and Archives Canada, Land submissions to the Executive Council [textual record] at http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=205131 (accessed 25 July 2014).