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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian: Land Records Course Part 1 and Part 2 by Sharon L. Murphy, Brenda Dougall Merriman, CG, and Frances Coe, PLCGS. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Archives of Manitoba
The records of the provincial Archives are divided into two sections. The first is prior to 1870 containing documents related to the Red River Settlement. The second is post 1870 and often includes more detailed information pertaining to the province of Manitoba.
To obtain access to land records in Manitoba it is necessary to know the exact legal description of the land.
There are three sources that can help in determining this description; the first two are at the Library and Archives Canada:
1. The alphabetical index to patentees in Western Canada (as discussed above)
2. The alphabetical index of half-breed and white settlers’ claims, 1870-1885
3. Various rural directories, 1881-1922
Archives of Manitoba Land Records Listings
The following information has been accessed in the publication of “Selected Manitoba Government Records” provided by the Archives of Manitoba, September 1998. There are no restrictions on the use of any of the records listed in this brochure. Access permissions are not required.
The entire publication containing Court, Municipal and School Records descriptions can be obtained by contacting the Archives.
There is also a Guide to Government Records in the Provincial Archives that is available in the Archives’ Research Room. The Guide provides summary descriptions of all records transferred to the Provincial Archives and also includes detailed lists of many series.
Remember these records were created in the daily lives of our ancestors by various government offices and were not created in order for you to use them in your genealogical quest. Your patience and diligence will be necessary to learn to use them and thus provide you with the information you are searching.
Manitoba Natural Resources
The records are held under Manitoba Natural Resources (at the Archives) as follows:
Land Surveyors Field Books 1869-1983
Consists of: Filed notes compiled by Dominion and Provincial Surveyors, recording mainly technical data and natural features of the land. Documents are arranged by numerical order. There is an index by legal description. List Numbers: GR 1601; GR 2630; GR 2884
Township & Parish Plans and Plats 1870-1930 Consists of: Department of Interior cadastral plans which portray natural features of the land and record names of patentees and patent numbers. Documents are arranged by their legal description. List Numbers: Township Plans GR 2404; Parish Plans GR 2405
Township Registers 1870-1930
Consists of: Registers maintained in the Department of Interior providing names of homesteaders and dates of the transactions. Includes names of patentees as well as those who did not obtain patent. Documents are arranged by their legal description. List Number: GR 2133
Parish & Settlement General Registers ca.1870-1930
Consists of: Department of Interior registers recording names of people who obtained Crown land in the parishes along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and in towns and settlements. Provides nature and number of the land grant and date and number of patent. Documents are arranged by their legal description by parish or settlement. List Number: GR 2403; Location: G 5463; G 5465
“Grants to Half-Breeds” Registers 1880-1881
Consists of: Copies of the “Grants to Half-Breeds” Registers, certified by the Acting Surveyor General, Dominion Lands Office, Department of Interior. The Registers record the allotment of lands to Métis under the Manitoba Act of 1870, which provided for 1,400,000 acres of unspecified land to be distributed to individual claimants. They provide:
- the claim number
- claimant’s name
- parent’s name
- year when claimant would be 18 years old
- grant number
- date of allotment
- legal description of the allotment
- patent date
- occasionally, remarks
Note: Copies include only 2 volumes covering the Parishes of St. Norbert, St. François Xavier and Baie St. Paul. The original registers are at Library and Archives Canada (RG 15 vol. 1556-1573) and are available on microfilm in the Provincial Archives of Manitoba Research Room (reels C-11885 to C-11886). Documents are arranged by reference number and claim number. List Number: GR 2217
Historic Holders Index Finding Aid
Consists of: Crown Land Registry System index to people who obtained patent to Crown land through homestead entry, purchase, or grant. Provides:
- legal description of the land
- type of holding
- date of entry
- date of patent
The index is created by Manitoba Natural Resources, Crown Lands Branch and is based on the General Registers listed above and current Crown land information. Documents are arranged by name and by legal description. Microfiche copy is available in the Research Room (updated annually).
Homestead Files ca.1870-1930
Consists of: Department of Interior files, on microfilm, documenting the administration of Dominion lands made available for settlement, through homestead entry, sale, grant and preemption. Includes applications, inspectors’ reports and correspondence. Naturalization and citizenship documents may be included. Applicants who did not obtain patent are also recorded. These documents are arranged by their legal description. List Number: GR 2060
Parish Files 1874-1959
Consists of: Documentation relating to the establishment of ownership and occupancy of parish lots in the Red River settlement, in order to obtain patent under the 1870 Manitoba Act. Includes information on pre-1870 settlers, including personal data, use of the land, and improvements. A detailed finding aid is available. These documents are arranged by parish and lot number. List Number: GR 2671
Note: Series is incomplete. Missing files may be in the Department of Interior Manitoba Act Files (Microfilm Reels C-14902 to C-14924) or with Manitoba Natural Resources.
Consists of: Forms prepared in the Patent Branch of the Department of Interior, to authorize the preparation of Letters Patent. Provides name, address and occupation of the person receiving patent, legal description of the land and size, type and number of the grant. These are arranged mainly by their legal description. List Number: GR 128
Note: Letters Patent are held by the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N4, Telephone 613-995-5115.
- Archives of Manitoba
- 130 - 200 Vaughan Street
- Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1T5
- Telephone: 204-945-3971
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Canadian: Land Records Course Part 1 and Part 2 offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at email@example.com
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.