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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 ($).
Map of Saskatchewan
What's Available on the Internet
Library and Archives - Western Land Grants (1870-1930)
Glenbow Museum-Archives CPR Land Sales
Saskatchewan Archives Board -Supplement to Homestead Maps of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northern and Southern Alberta 1916
Saskatchewan Homestead Index This is a file locator database to the homestead files at the Saskatchewan Archives. It is searchable by name, location or by additional remarks. The site also gives directions for obtaining the file information once the appropriate file has been identified.
Websites of Interest
Like Manitoba and Alberta, Saskatchewan was originally part of the North West Territories. Its name was taken from the District of Saskatchewan which was an administrative district of the North West Territories created in 1882. In 1905 Saskatchewan became a province.
Land records for Saskatchewan are in three different categories and are to be found in three different locations listed below.
The Federal Department of the Interior Homestead files prior to 1930, with an alphabetical index of homestead entrants, are in the custody of the Saskatchewan Archives, Saskatoon Office. Microfilm copies are available at the Regina Office.
The Saskatoon Office also holds provincial Department of Agriculture grant and homestead files after 1930. Copies of the patents for grants and records of subsequent transactions are located in the district Land Titles offices.
The Genealogical Society of Utah microfilmed the Saskatchewan Homestead Index and Records and they are available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or through a FamilySearch Center.
- Saskatchewan Archives Board - Regina Office
University of Regina
3303 Hillsdale Street
P.O. Box 1665
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3C6
- Saskatchewan Archives Board - Saskatoon Office
University of Saskatchewan
Room 91, Murray Building
3 Campus Drive Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A4
Library and Archives Canada
The Archives have an alphabetical list of all those who applied for homesteads under the Dominion Land Act but retain no records. You need to provide the name and/or a geographic location. They can supply the land location and the file number which are key to the specific resource you are seeking.
Dominion Lands Act
Letters Patent either grant or confirm title to a portion of land. They are issued as the first title to land and serve as proof that the land has been alienated from the Crown. Before Letters Patent could be issued to a homesteader, the land had to be accurately described and located through cadastral surveys.
As well, the Dominion Lands Act required that each homesteader provide proof that the land had been improved; that it had increased in value or utility through some additions (cultivation, building construction, etc.) costing labour and/or capital. The Dominion Lands Act clearly stipulated what improvements had to be made to a land grant before a homesteader would be issued his/her Letters Patent by the Crown.
When a homesteader felt that he met all conditions of his homestead entry, as outlined in the Dominion Lands Act, he filed an application with his local Dominion Lands Office. On receipt of an application from the local lands office, the Dominion Lands Board had the responsibility of undertaking all initial screening and validation of the claim, including the dispatching of a homestead inspector to the property to confirm that the proper improvements had been made. If the Board approved the application, it would then be forwarded to Ottawa to issue the patent.
For grants made by the provinces after 1930 or any land transactions subsequent to the issuance of the original Letters Patent, the appropriate provincial authorities must be consulted, for such transactions are not recorded in the Federal Land Records. In 1871, an order in council initiated a uniform land survey of the three Prairie Provinces as well as the railway belt of British Columbia.
The comprehensive indexing of the legal land descriptions resulting from the survey form the basis of the Dominion Land Grants searchable database. When available, individual names have also been indexed.
This specialty database at the Library and Archives Canada relates exclusively to Letters Patent issued by the Lands Patent Branch of the Department of the Interior. The records refer to grants issued in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the railway belt of British Columbia, c.1870-1930. The database “Western Land Grants” is searchable on the Internet by name, location or keyword.
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
The Saskatchewan Genealogical Society offers help and guidance to all genealogists and can be of great assistance to your search. They offer courses, research services and publications to help you find your ancestors, including a detailed guide, Tracing Your Saskatchewan Ancestors.
- Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
110 - 1514 11th Avenue
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 0H2
P.O. Box 1894
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3E1
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.