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Search Listings. A legal will was sometimes filed with the Registry Offices in Ontario when it involved the transfer of a parcel of land to an heir. As a result, these wills were never probated and only appear in the Registry Office files. As you read through old documents you will come across these terms over and over again.

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A lot 20 chains feet wide by chains feet deep contains acres and a lot 50 chains feet wide by 20 chains feet deep, contains acres. To use most land records you must know something about land description systems. Legal land descriptions in the western Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, and parts of British Columbia, are different from those in the eastern provinces. The orderly division of land into easily identifiable parcels was paramount in the development of the country. This allowed the settlers to obtain a specific piece of property by grant or sale.

A reference system was put in place to be able to identify one piece of land from another. There were four major systems of subdivision in Canada.

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Surveyors worked in a different manner in various parts of the country. Usually they based their descriptions on the metes and bounds method of measuring boundary lines, with the technical language of chains and rods, etc, and compass directions. Global Positioning GPS may be adopted in the future by some provinces. The best known example of this system is the seigneurial system of land tenure which developed in New France. It is characterized by long narrow lots running perpendicular to and along major rivers and waterways.

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Rivers were often the only means of transportation and each settler required access to them in order to transport his produce and to have a link between his farm and the rest of the community. This system used the township or parish as its largest component. They were then subdivided into a series of lots, each of uniform size acres and rectangular in shape. Lots would be arranged in rows and numbered consecutively. Each row or concession would also be numbered to form a grid system per township.

The use of natural features, such as rocks, trees, rivers, etc. A typical description of a piece of property under this system would refer to the house of one person and an oak tree nearby and a river bed with direction such as easterly, northern, etc. This produced many odd shaped lots whose boundaries were often not very accurate and of course such features often changed or disappeared. As a rule, these lots are organized within a parish or township and are given numbers to set them apart from the other lots. This system is found primarily in the Maritimes, especially in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

This system covers the largest area of Canada. It was based on the American public land system and was initiated in Canada in At this time Sections 11 and 29 were also set aside, this time for School lands. To help finance the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway and other railways there were large concessions made of the remaining Crown lands to the railway companies. These lands were sold through the railway land departments.


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They usually received the odd-numbered sections in each township within a designated area or railway belt. The base of this Dominion Land System is the township which contains 36 square miles. This is not to be compared to the townships of eastern Canada which were set up for municipal administrative purposes. The townships are arranged in a grid system and are numbered consecutively from south to north beginning with Township 1, running along the US-Canada border. Each of these meridians were used as the reference line for the surveys originating from it.

The Principle Meridian longitude 97 degrees 30 W is located in Manitoba with ranges running east and west from it.

The 2nd degrees and 3rd degrees meridians fall in Saskatchewan with the 4th degrees W meridian falling along the Saskatchewan-Alberta border. Reference to all these components is used when identifying specific lots.

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There is more regarding this system under the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and parts of British Columbia. A county consisted of several named townships of unequal size and shape.

Each township was divided into strips called concessions, and each concession was further divided into lots. Equivalent land units in the remaining eastern provinces usually were not composed of concessions but of irregular farm lots. About , early in the homesteading era of the Prairie Provinces, the federal government adopted a survey system unlike that of eastern Canada, but similar to that of the western United States. Land was divided into square townships, each composed of 36 sections of acres.

The basic homestead was a quarter-section of acres. In legal land descriptions, township 1, range 1, west of the first meridian is shortened to W1: the first figure represents township, the second figure represents range, and the third figure represents meridian. Thus, W4 stands for the location of Cardston, Alberta, in township 3, range 25, west of the fourth meridian. For more about counties, See Canada Historical Geography. Find maps of county boundaries in eastern Canada and of townships in western Canada in:. Atlas and Gazetteer of Canada.

McKercher, Robert B. Revised and enlarged. Family History Library book R2m; computer number In the French placed colonists on Sable Island and in an expedition spent the winter on Dochet Island, Maine.

Land Records - Library and Archives Canada

This settlement was then moved to Port Royal in and for years England and France fought for this territory until it was ceded to Britain in by the Treaty of Utrecht. It then became Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, after the British in Nova Scotia considered the French-speaking population of Acadia to be a potential threat. The French-speaking Acadians would not take the oath of allegiance to the Crown.

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When the Seven Years War broke out they became even more threatening to the British. After the war ended in , many returned to their homes. Knowing the history of the Maritime Provinces will provide you with a sense of where your ancestors may have disappeared, and help in your search for the records. Knowledge of the history and geography of your province of interest is the foundation you need to begin your genealogical quest.

You will find the background for each province fits into the overall development path of Canada and the role your ancestors played in its establishment and growth. Special categories of land and property records applied to the American Loyalists, in Canada called United Empire Loyalists. Many Loyalists and their sons and daughters applied for land grants in present eastern Canada as compensation for war losses.

Loyalists and their children were entitled to land grants without payment of fees. March 01 This content is from: Sponsored. September 01 August 03 September 03 This content is from: Canada Canada: CRA changes position on grounds for taxing capital gains of non-residents. This content is from: Sponsored Canada: Canada clarifies tax treatment to non-resident partners on disposition of prope This content is from: Sponsored Canada.