Manitoba Land and Property Records
Land grants in Manitoba prior to 1870 were basically under the control of the Hudson’s Bay Company. These early land records are found in the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives at the Provincial Archives. They cover the years 1811–1833 (Land Register “A”) and about 1830–1871 (Land Register “B”). Some land registration and sales volumes for the years 1823–1862 also exist.
In 1870, jurisdiction over Crown lands was transferred from the Hudson’s Bay Company to the Dominion of Canada. The land was surveyed and sold to homesteaders by the Dominion government until 1930. In that year jurisdiction over land transactions was given to the provincial governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
All land transactions following the initial Crown grants from 1871 to 1885 were registered under the “old system.” This system did not provide the titles to property, but only recorded the transactions. In 1885, the Torrens system was adopted. The Torrens system provided the land titles themselves as well as a registry of transactions.
Homestead records are found in the Provincial Archives.
Microfilmed records of land grants prior to 1930 are available through the Crown Lands Registry in Winnipeg.
You may also search original township registers, fiats, and supporting documentation at the Provincial Archives for records of land grants. Subsequent land transfers are registered in the seven local Land Titles Offices throughout the province. For their addresses contact the Registrar at Land Titles Office in Winnipeg (see the ”Archives and Libraries” section of this outline).
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 alphabetical index to patentees in Western Canada, 1873–1930
• The alphabetical index of half-breed and white settlers’ claims, 1870–1885
• Various rural directories, 1881–1922
The first two sources are at the Library and Archives Canada.