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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 ($).
Crown Lands Records
In contrast to the French river-lot system, the English usually divided the land into sections called ranges or “concessions”. The concessions were then divided into regular shaped farm lots of 100 to 200 acres. After 1763, areas in the Eastern Townships and counties on the Ottawa River were surveyed this way.
The beginning of the Crown grant system in Québec in 1764 and Ontario in 1795 changed the way the land was divided. A settler who wanted free land in a township submitted a petition directly to the governor or the lieutenant governor. Crown grants were made to all Loyalists or children of Loyalists after the American Revolution. Later, for a limited time any settler in the provinces of Canada could receive these grants. Free grants were abolished in 1827, except for the children of Loyalists, and other occasional exceptions.
Library and Archives Canada holds Lower Canada Land Petitions 1764-1841 (RG 1, L3L) and records of the Gaspé Land Commission (RG 1, L 7, vols. 79-80) which are nominally indexed in their finding aid 1801. Both the records and the index are microfilmed. The microfilm shelf list is posted on Library and Archives Canada website. The petitions may have information on the petitioner, his family parentage, military service and time of settling the land making them very valuable genealogically. The patents that were granted gave the name of the grantee, a description of the land and the date of the grant, also very useful.
There are several manuscript records relating to crown lands at Library and Archives Canada and at the Archives nationales du Québec. Some are:
List of lands Granted by the Crown in the Province of Québec from 1763 to 1731 December 1890. Québec: Charles-François Langlois, 1891. This book is a transcription of information from land patents. It is an especially good source to begin with if you are looking for English speaking settlers. It gives the date of the patent and the county, township and lot number where the grant was located. The index at the end of the volume is alphabetical only by the first letter of the surname. FHL films 413121-22
The Jésuit Estates were the properties owned by the Roman Catholic Society of Jesus. These lands were confiscated by the Crown following the conquest of Canada by the British and were located entirely in Québec. These lands were first rented and then sold separate from the Crown Lands in Québec. The records for this are in the Archives nationales du Québec (series-QBC-18-20).
Archives nationales du Québec
Throughout Québec there are regional Provincial Archives centers known as Les centres d’Archives nationales du Québec:
- Abitibi-Témiscamingue et Nord-du-Québec
27, rue du Terminus Ouest
Rouyn-Noranda, Québec J9X 293
- Bas-Saint-Laurent et Gaspésie,Iles-de-la-Madeleine
337, rue Moreault
Rimouski, Québec G5L 1P4
700, boulevard Laure, Bureau 190
Sept-Iles, Québec G4R 1Y1
225, rue Frontenac, bureau 410
Sherbrooke, Québec J1H 1K1
80, boulevard de Gaspé
Gaspé, Québec G4X 1A9
Telephone: 418-727-3500 ext. 6573
- Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec
225, rue des Forges, bureau 208
Trois-Rivières, Québec G9A 2G7
535 avenue Viger est
Montréal, Québec H2L 2P3
Telephone: 514-873-1100 option 4
855, boulevard de la Gappe
Gatineau, Québec J8T 8H9
Campus de l’Université Laval
1055, avenue du Séminaire
Case postale 10450, succursale Sainte-Foy
Québec, Québec G1V 4N1
- Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean
930, rue Jacques-Cartier est, bureau C-103
Chicoutimi, Québec G7H 2A9
Québec Genealogical Societies
- Quebec Family History Society
15 Donegani Avenue, P.O. Box 715
Pointe-Claire - Dorval Postal Station
Pointe-Claire, Québec H9R 4S8
Email: [mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com]
The leading English-language society, they sell maps and the full index to Quebec Crown land grants, sorted alphabetically by surname, available online to members only.
- Société généalogique canadienne-française
3440, rue Davidson
Montréal, Québec H1W 2Z5
Both societies have many links to other resources.
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.