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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 ($).
Métis and Scrip
The Manitoba Act of 1870 provided for the settlement of aboriginal land claims in western Canada, by which thousands of individual Métis files of genealogical value were created. Scrip is a word used to denote a money equivalent paid to a person in place of a land grant. Manitoba Métis Scrip Registers (1870-1885) are found at Library and Archives Canada in their RG 15, D II 8b series. This series is arranged alphabetically, with an index. Names of parents and/or spouse and children are recorded along with other identifying information. Although a date of birth may be inaccurate, it is a starting point for further research; it might also be the only such reference in many cases.
Also at Library and Archives Canada, in RG 15, D II 8a series, is a collection of Manitoba parish registers by which land grants were given “in random fashion” to children of Métis (previously known by the earlier term of half breed). Métis claims for land grants were considered apart from white settlers and status Indians. The grants are arranged by claim number, running from 1875-1880 and are microfilmed. Many of these records are being digitized online at LAC website.
See also the previous section on “Half-Breed” Registers.
Gail Morin’s book Manitoba Scrip and Northwest Half-Breed Scrip, 1885 summarizes the first two series of Métis scrip applications. She has written other books on Métis families and the Glenbow Museum has a database of her work on pedigree charts of 40,000 families. The following organizations and addresses can be very useful:
- Métis Culture and Heritage Resource Centre
- 504 - 63 Albert St.
- Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 1G4
- Telephone: 204-956-7767
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Glenbow Museum
- 130 - 9th Avenue SE
- Calgary, Alberta T2G 0P3
- Telephone: 403-268-4100
- Library Email: email@example.com
- Telephone - Library Reference Desk: 403-268-4197
- Archives Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone - Archives Reference Desk: 403-268-4204
Hudson’s Bay Company Archives
As previously mentioned, the Hudson’s Bay Company was responsible for most of the records that were created prior to c.1870 (the Company was the administrator of most of Western Canada before 1870). When the arrangement was made to have the land transferred back to the Crown and then given to the Dominion of Canada and then to the province of Manitoba in 1870, the responsibility to maintain any records was also transferred to the province of Manitoba. Prior to that time the Hudson’s Bay Company had their own record keeping system in place. These documents are now housed at the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives (HBCA) and can be accessed by several methods. Land Register A covers 1811-1833 and Land Register B covers 1830-1871 approximately.
Records are listed by type and volume number. If they have been microfilmed they are referenced accordingly. The HBCA has records of various types and subjects; however, at the moment we are only dealing with the land records.
In addition to the finding aid the website will also provide you with:
- A Guide to the HBCA’s Holdings
- HBCA Classification System
- A Short Catalogue of Microfilmed Records available through Interlibrary Loan
- A List of Published Collections of HBC Documents.
You can access the HBCA records by interlibrary loan of microfilm, reading published excerpts of the HBCA Records or by viewing the microfilmed copies or the original records at the HBCA. Library and Archives Canada and The National Archives in the UK also have copies of the microfilm holdings but they must be viewed on site only. Here is the UK location:
The National Archives
- Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU
- United Kingdom
- Telephone: 44 (0) 20 8876 3444
How do you find out what is available for interlibrary loan? You can access the HBCA finding aid on the Internet OR for a more detailed finding aid you can order the microfilmed set of finding aids which are far more detailed than the online versions. The finding aid reel numbers are 1M1252, 1M1253, 20M1 and 1MA76 (the last reel number deals with post-1904 records only).
To determine which of these reels to order you need to consult the website’s microfilm catalogue. Of course, detailed finding aids are also available on site. Pre-1870 manuscript maps can also be found at the HBCA. For a description and index to these maps please consult A Country So Interesting by Dr. Richard Ruggles.
For those interested in HBC’s records, a guide entitled Biographical Resources at the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives: Volume one, by Briggs and Morton, 1996, can be consulted at the provincial Archives or can be purchased.
The physical location of the HBCA is within the Archives of Manitoba building.
- Archives of Manitoba
- 130 - 200 Vaughan Street
- Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1T5
- Telephone: 204-945-3971
- Email: email@example.com
- Hudson’s Bay Company Archives
- 130 - 200 Vaughan Street
- Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1T5
- Telephone: 204-945-4949
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manitoba Genealogical Society
- Manitoba Genealogical Society Inc.
- 1045 St. James Street, Unit East
- Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 1B1
- Telephone: 204-783-9139
- Email: email@example.com
Land Title Offices
- Winnipeg Land Titles Office
- 276 Portage Avenue
- Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0B6
- Telephone: 204-945-2042
- Morden Land Titles Office
- 351 Stephen Street
- Morden, Manitoba R6M 1V1
- Telephone: 204-822-2920
- Neepawa Land Titles Office
- 329 Hamilton Street
- Neepawa, Manitoba R0J 1H0
- Telephone: 204-476-7040
:Brandon Land Titles Office
- 705 Princess Avenue
- Brandon, Manitoba R7A 0P4
- Telephone: 204-726-6279
- Portage Land Titles Office
- 25 Tupper Street North
- Portage la Prairie, Manitoba R1N 3K1
- Telephone: 204-239-3306
- Dauphin Land Titles Office
- 308 Main Street South
- Dauphin, Manitoba R7N 1K7
- Telephone: 204-622-2084
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.