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Ontario Genealogy - Land Records

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Upper Canada Land Petitons (UCLP)

Ontario Land Records

Land records are very useful. Originally all land in Ontario belonged to the Crown. Although there were small areas of settlement in 1763 after the British took over, major settlement of Upper Canada began in 1783 and utilized Crown Grants. Many early settlers, both military and civilian, submitted land petitions to the Governor in order to obtain Crown land.

Free Grants of Crown Land

Up to 1826 free land grants were available to all settlers, to government favourites, and to UEL children. In 1826 these free grants were abolished except Loyalist grants and soldiers, and anyone wanting Crown land had to buy it.

Land Petitions

There were two types of land petitions:
  • pre 1827 petitions for free grants of land under the UEL and military categories
  • post 1827 petitions for purchase of Crown lands

Upper Canada Land Petitions (UCLP)

Upper Canada Land Petitions and Land Books 1793-1826 [NA RG 1, L3 and RG1, E1] or indexes on C-10810 to C10836 are available on microfilm at the Ontario Archives or NAC.

Immigrants often petitioned for land soon after arrival in Upper Canada. Settlers sometimes settled on a piece of land and then petitioned for the grant later. Loyalists frequently presented petitions for land, as did their children (sons and daughters of Loyalists)

Petitions submitted in Upper Canada (Ontario) are most often individual petitions, which frequently contain information about the petitioner and his or her family. Loyalists and discharged soldiers often mentioned the regiment in which they served. Sons and daughters of Loyalists gave their father's name. Civilian petitioners sometimes indicated their country or place of origin. You will often find oaths of allegiance or affidivats from witnesses testifying to the good character of a petitioner.

Entries found land petitions (RG 1 L3) give the name, place, date, bundle and petition number (e.g., M6/50 indicates bundle M6, petition number 50).

Index to Upper Canada Land Petitions (1763-1865) [NEW Sept. 2010] After consulting the index, refer to the list of microfilm reel numbers for the actual land petitions.

Microfilm Reel Numbers for Land Petitions

Upper Canada Land Books

The Upper Canada Land Books do not, for the most part, contain much more information than the names of petioners for land. However if you cannot find your ancestor in a Land Petition, you may find his or her name in the Land Books. Sometimes more detail is found in the comments section of the Land Book reference, but not often.

Upper Canada Land Books Microfilm Reel Numbers for Index After consulting the index, refer to the list of microfilm reel numbers for the actual land book entries.

Microfilm Reel Numbers for Land Books

Transcribed names of petitioners from Land Book C

Canadian Land Records

  • Upper Canada Land Petitions and Land Books 1793-1826 [NA RG 1, L3 and RG1, E1] or indexes on C-10810 to C10836 on microfilm at the Ontario Archives or NAC.
  • Loyalist Claims and Conversion List [NA MG14] 1790-1837 - Audit Office 12 and 13 compensation claims for land and goods lost during the American Revolution - 178 reels of microfilm
  • CLRI (Computerized Land Records Index) (aka Ontario Land Record Index)summarizes land grants from sales of Crown Land, from Canada Company sales or leases and from Peter Robinson settlers' grants. If your ancestor settled anywhere in Ontarioand he was the first time buyer of Crown Land, he will be on these lists. I now offer a lookup service for the CLRI.
  • Township Papers. Township Papers deal mostly with the original locatees, but may contain other pre-patent records. Some petitions for land can be found in the Township Papers. This miscellaneous group of land-related records have been arranged by township name, then by concession and lot or by town name and lot number. Under any lot which has documents, researchers may find the following: copies of orders-in-council; copies of location certificates and location tickets; copies of assignments; certificates verifying the completion of settlement duties; copies of receipt; copies of descriptions; and copies of patents; and copies of incoming correspondence. See Finding Aid to Township Papers

Return of all Patents for Land 1836 1478 names of patentees with some surnames missing (not found are surnames beginning with H, K, L, M, P, Q, S, T)


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