Land Records

Alberta
Homestead Records are available on ancestry.ca. Under the card catalogue do a search for Alberta Homestead Records. If you don’t have a subscription to ancestry the Alberta Homestead Records can be found at archives.org.

First search the Alberta Homestead Records Index , take down the file number and film number and go to archives.org to view the microfilm with the file you want. For more information on Alberta Land Records check out the familysearch wiki.

British Columbia
The Vancouver Public Library has information on finding land records in BC.

Library and Archives Canada
LAC has land records .  This page has information on land records not listed below.

Land Grants of Western Canada is not the homestead file. It is the land grant or ownership document only.

The Upper and Lower Canada Land Petitions can be searched in the database. The Lower Canada land petition is attached to the database but finding the Upper Canada Land Petitions is a two step process.

  1. Search the Upper Canada Land Petitions Database.
  2. Take down all the information if you find your ancestor
    1. Under “Digitized Microform” find the microfilm that the petition is in and then search the microfilm for the petition.

Manitoba
Manitoba Homestead Files are at the Manitoba Archives . You can visit the archives or  contact them for information on getting copies.

Familysearch has a Manitoba Land and Property wiki with much information.

New Brunswick
The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick has a searchable database for all their records. You can narrow down your search by selecting the category of records you want to view. Since the records are not online on this website you would order the correct microfilm in through interlibrary loan.

Land documents for New Brunswick can also be found at family search. Select the county you want under “Populated Places” and scroll down to land records. Then you have to browse the documents to find the one you want.

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia has some of its land records online. Other records have to be viewed at the Nova Scotia Archives.

Ontario
Ontario land records started about 1850. Documents related to land transactions can be found at Land Registry Offices throughout the province. They can also be seen on-line through the Ontario Land Records OnLand system and some can be found in the familysearch catalogue.

Land Registry Offices in Ontario

The province of Ontario has started digitizing its land records. The process to find the them is a bit cumbersome; it gets easier with practice. You should be aware that the records are available on-line only during certain times of the day.
Once you are on the website, you select where you want to search.
You then select historical books. It’s easiest to search by property description or you can browse the records. Generally, they have the abstract indexes but not all the general registers. Play around with the website and see what you can find.

The Family History Library is in the process of digitizing their microfilms. T If you are lucky the land records you want may be digitized. You must create a user account if you want to search the records.

1. Go to the familysearch library catalog . In the search area enter in the name of the county. ie. Canada, Ontario, Essex.

Look for “Land and Property” records. Find the “Abstract Index”. A camera icon beside the records means the record has been digitized and you can browse through it. It helps to know the lot and concession number of the land your ancestor owned. If you find your ancestor’s name, take note of the instrument number and date. A film reel beside the record means it is available only in Salt Lake.

Once you find the property in the abstract index find the land records in the same way as above but this time you’re looking for “General Registers” microfilm that corresponds with the instrument number and date. Look for the term “Registrar of Deeds” to make sure you are looking at the correct microfilm.

The Archives of Ontario has land records you can order through interlibrary loan. The “Municipal Records” may have land related information. They also have Land Patent Plans for some townships. These records are maps of land and sometimes have the name of the land owner.

Prince Edward Island
Information on how to find land records in PEI can be found on the familysearch wiki.

Quebec
Quebec land records can be found in a number of places.

The Land Registry of Quebec has a paid site to search for land documents.

Notarial records are indexed at the National Archives of Quebec. Some of these records have images of the actual document attached to them. Contact the archives if you want a copy of the document.

Ancestry has an indexed database for “Quebec Notarial Records – 1626-1935”. Some of these records have the original “Acte”(document) attached to them but most don’t.  However, they do give the name of the notary so you can check the Notarial Records site above to see if the document is attached. If not then you can order a copy of the document form the National Archives of Quebec.  They have an ask the librarian or archivist link at the bottom of the page and have English speaking archivists to help.

Ancestry also has an “Index for Land Grants” in Quebec. The original documents can also be ordered from the National Archives of Quebec using the information in the source citation

Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavet
You can find information on land records in the Territories if you happen to have ancestors who lived there.

Please contact me if you have any questions.